Protecting the privacy of smartphone users means protecting the privacy of all of us: Families, friends and colleagues.
How we protect your privacy
Businesses only receive crowd-level statistics from us, e.g., 300,000 people visited this supermarket last month. If a place is rarely visited, we do not provide statistics for it.
We use anonymization methods such as infusing synthetic data. By doing so, we ensure that individuals cannot be identified, even if a business combines our data insights with other data.
Every app needs to ask (a) if you want to share location data only with the app and (b) also with other companies for defined purposes. If you decline sharing data with other companies, no data will be shared with us. However, you will still be able to use the app. You can change permissions any time.
Data we receive is associated only with your device ID, meaning we do not know your name, phone number or email. We have to collect the device ID in case a device owner wants to verify that we store data of this device.
Your privacy questions answered
We believe that privacy is not only about protecting people’s data, but also about transparent communication. Thus, we want you to know:
Where do we get location data from?
We receive location data from partner companies, which themselves receive the data from apps installed on mobile phones.
Apps share location signals based on your privacy and consent settings, your app usage and other factors. This information is shared together with a unique device identifier. We do not know your name and we do not want to collect more information on you than absolutely necessary for our businesses purposes.
Why do we use location data?
Anonymized location data help companies make smarter decisions, whether it is building new supermarkets where people need them most or offering sustainable mobility solutions in areas with high congestion.
For years, eCommerce websites use so-called “cookies” to understand everything about website visitors. In the non-digital world, companies with physical stores don’t have these capabilities. Our aim is to protect the privacy of individuals while fulfilling the need for consumer insights in the physical world.
Do we use location data to target individuals with personal advertisement?
No. We have no interest in individualized advertising and we do not sell any information about you as an individual. We only help companies better understand groups of people without showing them ads on their smartphones.
How do they make money? Asking yourself this question is the safest way to understand if a company has an interest in protecting your data. Placense makes money by helping businesses like supermarkets, malls or restaurant to make smarter decisions based on crowd behavior. We have no interest in understanding you as an individual. However, we do have an interest in identifying what groups of people visit certain locations. Groups, segments or clusters are determined based on similar demographics, behaviors or interests. None of this grouped information can be tracked back to any individuals, even if the data was in any way exposed.
How can you prevent sharing your data with PlaceSense or other third parties?
In your privacy settings of your smartphone, you may start or stop location sharing for specific apps or purposes at any time. In any case, we only receive location data if you have permitted data sharing with the app partners we work with. The app asks you if this is ok for you when first downloading the app. If you decline or of the app does not ask you, not data is shared with us.
The simplest way is to go to your privacy menu in your smartphone settings. Here you can see which apps you share e.g. your location information with. You can simply deactivate data sharing with apps that you think do not need access to your information. Having said that, there is also a way to share your data just with the apps, but not third parties. The easiest way to do so is by deleting the app and reinstalling it from your app store. Upon opening the app for the first time, you should receive a push notification if you are willing to share data with the app. If you accept, a second push notification should appear and ask you if you want to share your data for other purposes and with other companies as well. Here you can decline, accept or enter another menu, which usually lists all the companies the data is shared with. As a European resident, you also have a couple of privacy rights. You can e.g. reach out to us (or any other company) and – request to inform you if we collected information from your smartphone in the past – request to delete data concerning you – request to access data concerning you – request to transfer data concerning you to another digital system of you choice – request to correct data concerning you if you suspect that we stored false information on you – request to not collect data concerning you any longer – request to pause the data collection on you – request to make decisions manually rather than by automated means To fulfill any request, we need your unique identifier. This is a short overview, you can find more answers on privacy questions in our privacy notice. Also, feel free to reach out to us via: [email protected] for any questions or requests.
Your question was not answered?
Feel free to take a look at this privacy Q&A (called privacy notice) or contact us.