Our Commitment to Stay a Privacy-First Company
Healthy communities need good analytics about brick and mortar locations. For businesses and cities, location data tells an important story about our physical world and how we use our collective resources. It helps retailers and restaurants understand patterns in foot traffic, gives municipalities a way to measure economic development, and allows hospitality services to plan effectively for local events.
As individuals, location data also includes some of the most sensitive information about our lives. Without adequate protections, it can reveal personal information about who we are or restrict our freedoms if used for surveillance. This is why the use of location data by businesses and cities requires the utmost care and respect for individual privacy.
Equipped with extensive experience in data science, cybersecurity, and engineering, Placer.ai’s founders decided to create the world’s most accurate location analytics platform without compromising individual privacy. From the beginning, it’s been critical to our success that privacy is not only a core requirement for our technical solutions, but as the cornerstone of our business.
How do we do it (step-by-step)?
Device data is stripped of personal identifiers, such as device identifiers (“MAIDs”) by our partners before it’s shared with us.
After we receive the data, it’s aggregated around specific points of interest (i.e. a commercial business, a neighberhood, a park, etc.), using K-anonymity of 50 (from at least 50 devices) to preserve individual privacy.
Using our proprietary technology, the data is further extrapolated to provide broader predictions based on a representative sample set, much like a pollster might use a small sample size to generate insights about a much larger population.
Heatmaps and dots on our dashboard maps, whether representing a residential area or a part of a road, always represent an approximate and randomized location where according to the U.S. Census there are at least 50 residents. What you see with our maps never represents the actual location of any one particular device. Further, we don’t show any data for locations with fewer than 50 unique devices.
Our products and our company are built with privacy by design and the following guiding principles
We Only Provide Aggregated Market Research About Places
We only provide our customers with aggregated statistical information about brick-and-mortar locations, such that any bit of information presented preserves K-anonymity of 50. This means that every dot on the map, whether representing a residential area or the end of a road segment, is always only an approximate location and never indicates the actual location of any one particular device.
We Don’t Share or Sell User Data
We have never sold user-level data and we never will. Further, we deliberately don’t participate in the ad tech industry, where most customers expect to be able to track individual behavior.
We Don’t Collect User Identifiers
The data we receive is stripped of identifiers, such as mobile advertising identifiers (“MAIDs”), names, other persistent device IDs, and contact information. We intentionally built our business with underlying technology that doesn’t rely on personally identifiable information.
We Focus On Real-Estate Problems
We help our customers make better real-estate decisions. As such, we do not knowingly sell or provide any data relating to sensitive places, such as military facilities, schools or facilities for minors, places of worship, rehabilitation centers, or women’s health facilities. We are committed to removing any locations we would find to be sensitive in the future.
We Respect User Consent and Privacy Best Practices
We vet our data partners, complying with all laws, regulations, and industry standards. Placer requires its partners to get opt in or opt out consent in accordance with applicable law.
We Invest in Data Security
We use end-to-end encryption to protect data in transit and at rest, using a centralized key management system and rotating keys. We also employ the Information Security Management System (ISMS) from ISO 27001, which includes a risk management program based on the ISO 31000, “Risk Management Framework.” You can read more about our technical security investments here.