📑 On TikTok, Teens Meme the Safety App Ruining Their Summer

Bookmarked On TikTok, Teens Meme the Safety App Ruining Their Summer (WIRED)

The company may say its mission is to help families, but it’s also a business—one that is trying to grow. Life360 quietly went public on the Australian Securities Exchange in May. Its prospectus claims that the company has “amassed one of the world’s largest digital audiences of security-conscious family units” and has “deep insights into these Users in a way that was not possible before the smartphone. We know where our Users live, work, shop, drive and more.”

And the company is using that data to, well, sell car insurance. According to the company’s privacy policy, it shares your “personal information, driving event data, and other information,” with the risk-assessment firm Arity, which uses that information to calculate insurance pricing and “develop risk-predictive models for its own analytics purposes.” Arity is a subsidiary of the insurance giant Allstate, which is also an investor in Life360. In its prospectus earlier this year, Life360 said it hopes to soon offer US customers Allstate insurance plans that are customized based on how they drive. And why stop at cars? The company woos potential investors with grand plans of one day disrupting areas like general insurance, home security, elder care, and more. When Life360 detects you’ve moved, for instance, it could offer to sell you new surveillance cameras.

Louise Matgakig looks into the work of Life360 and the culture of surveillance that it supports. Although much of the reporting seems to be focused on teenagers response via TikTok, my concern is the business intent of the company to sell insurance. As Wired postulate in an opinion post:

Past generations were able to grow up without a digital record of their past generation, and the ones to come, will be held accountable to their inescapable online identities.

It would seem that with applications like Life360 children are becoming accountable for their offline identities too. This really makes me wonder if my parents had any clue where I was when I was growing up and the trust that was associated with this.

via Cory Doctorow

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