Understanding how Life360 uses and protects your data

Life360 was founded over a decade ago with the mission to keep you and your family safe. Over the years, we’ve continued to add new features and services to do just that. And today, we’re rolling out a host of features and settings to provide even more transparency and controls to protect your family’s data.

Privacy & Security Center

Our new Privacy & Security Center is a dedicated space within the app that outlines the ways in which your data may be used, and provides a very simple way to approve or turn off each category. It is written in a way that anyone can understand — and if you want the fine print and legal language, you can still read our full Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 

How do we give you more control, exactly? A couple of examples. If you don’t want your information shared with first responders or law enforcement in a situation where you or your family member might be missing, you can turn off that setting. If you don’t want to receive personalized ads based on your interactions with Life360, you can turn off that setting. Regardless of your preferences, we will still provide you with the same service you have come to rely on.

There are a lot more options, and if you want to learn more, just tap the Settings screen in the app and go to the Privacy & Security section.

Child Online Privacy & Protection Act (COPPA) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Controls

There are two major pieces of legislation that we are working hard to be at the forefront of. At a high level, they help guide companies on how we can help protect children and be better stewards of privacy. Although CCPA is California specific, we are working to apply these guidelines throughout the country.

Because these new guidelines are age-specific, when people sign up for Life360 they now have to share their birthdate. Based on age, we automatically make adjustments to your privacy settings. For example, children under 13 (and under 16 in California in compliance with CCPA) are automatically opted out of certain settings that they aren’t old enough to fully understand, and we’ve partnered with Berbix, a third party verification service, to enable an automated in-app parental consent mechanism to make it easier for parents to provide consent for children under 13 to use the Life360 service. This is a big improvement to the manual verification process parents of younger kids had to go through in prior versions of the app.

The content we show here will vary by region. For example, in Europe, we follow the rules outlined under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and in California we have a section that covers the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

Protecting Your Data

We have a dedicated security team focused solely on protecting your information. They do everything from protecting the system against hackers to implementing technology such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit encryption — an industry-standard encryption method used and approved by government agencies. 

How Your Data is Used

While you look through the Privacy & Security Center for an overview of the ways data may be used, we wanted to explain a bit further based on the settings you pick.

Powering and Improving the Core Life360 Service:
The primary way we use data is to help power the core Life360 service. We monitor different events and streams of location data in the app to ensure the experience is bug free and always improving. Most of this data is completely within our system, but we also use third party services to power parts of the product. For example, we use a metrics company, Amplitude, to collect analytics data, and a driving Software Developer Kit (SDK) from Arity to power features like crash detection. Our third party service providers are governed by strict legal terms to ensure they use this information only for permitted purposes.

Generating Revenue to Keep Life360 Free:
In order to subsidize the cost of the free application experience, which covers approximately 90 percent of our user base, we generate revenue through trusted data partnerships. For example, partners can create dashboards that aggregate our location data to give insights into how people are moving and where they are going so they can measure foot traffic, quantify ad performance, and even create things like the social distance scorecards you have seen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also share user information with third parties to help personalize ads based on location. We do this by sharing what is called your mobile ad ID or other device data, but we do not share your name, phone number, or other personal information we consider sensitive. We realize that different people have different comfort levels with these types of services, which is why the Privacy Center makes it easy to turn them off at any time.

Assisting Families in Emergencies:
Your data is also used to help in life-and-death emergencies. Last year, we requested ambulance dispatch for nearly 10,000 real-world car crashes based on our Crash Detection service, which we recently made freely available to all our users. Through a partnership with Allstate, we’ve co-created technology that anonymously processes driving data in real time to help detect car crashes. Allstate cannot link this back to your insurance rates. As another example, we help law enforcement with real-time requests to locate people in need. If you opt to keep on the setting that allows this information to be shared, we will only share location data with the explicit mandate of helping you in that exact moment in time; once the emergency passes, we no longer share the data.

Our goal with these features is to give you full control and transparency over your information. We hope this post has been helpful in shedding light onto this important topic and we encourage you to customize or update your personal preferences in the Privacy & Security Center within the Life360 app at any time. As always, thank you for being a valued member of the Life360 family.

Loved it? Want to share it?