Dispo’s Privacy Policy Repeatedly Edited as Media Raises Questions

Dispo, a popular photo app that mimics classic disposable cameras that recently raised $20 million in Series A funding, doesn’t appear to know what it’s doing with user data, repeatedly editing its policy in response to questions from Mashable, adding and removing lines about location tracking.

This game of privacy policy whack-a-mole started when Mashable reached out to Dispo, asking about the details of the company’s “automatic” collection of user information. As of the afternoon of March 5, the privacy policy included these lines (the full context of them can be seen here):

“We collect location data such as information about your device’s location, which can be either precise or imprecise… How much information we collect depends on the type and settings of the device you use to access the App.”

Mashable reached out to Dispo that day to ask if the app captured precise location data and what the company considered “precise.” The publication also asked if that data was ever sold or transferred to third parties.

Dispo removed that specific language in its policy only after receiving the email, and Mashable even noticed that it had made a mistake in the policy that was live on the company’s site until Mashable asked about it later. The news organization noticed that Dispo continued to make edits to the policy over time in response to further questions that were sent to the company, later adding a line that specified Dispo user location had not been tracked in the last year.

As of the time of publication, Dispo’s privacy policy includes a line about location data tracking and that Dispo tracks information like your IP address, browser type, operating system, access times, and “non-precise” location. The company does not disclose what it does with this information and does not state that the policy had been recently changed.

Screenshot captured on March 11.

Mashable says that this whole issue is an indication of what Dispo’s priorities are, and it’s arguably not the users or their privacy.

“To be far enough along to receive a spread in the Times Sunday Styles section, in print on March 7, but to have an error-laden privacy policy that you are forced to constantly update every time a reporter asks you a question suggests a company which puts publicity over its users’ privacy.”

If you’ve considered using Dispo, it’s important to note how wishy-washy the company has been with regards to questions about what it tracks, how it tracks it, and what it does with that information. Regardless of how you feel about the app, its founders, or its mission, being this inconsistent about something as important as privacy is alarming.

Image credits: Header image graphic licensed via Deposit Photos.

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