With more than 42 million users in 150 countries, Life360 has morphed into a behemoth location-tracking app for families. The app is so popular that some brands are now integrating it into their GPS tracking system. But sadly, these businesses seem oblivious to the risks of using a family locator app for business.
If you have installed the app for your business or are toying with the idea, spare some minutes and read our comprehensive Life360 app review. We took Life360 for a spin to find out how it works and scoured the web for information about its privacy concerns.
There's damning evidence of failed security tests and persistent rumors that the vendor sells user data. We'll tell you how the checkered privacy stature puts your company at risk of legal repercussions. We also found critical limitations that make it unsuitable for businesses, such as the missing web portal and offline mode.
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Timeero streamlines location, mileage, and time tracking for business.
Life360 gives you a 360-degree view of your family's and friends' real-time location to enhance family safety. But, of course, there's more to Life360 than location safety, so let's walk you through the app's capability.
Setting Up Life360
Whether you're using an Android or iOS phone, downloading the app from Google Play and Apple App Store is easy. Unfortunately, the app doesn't offer a web portal.
Before you can track location, you have to join or create a circle — the heart of the Life360 operation. A circle is a private space only accessible to you and other circle members. When you start a circle, you get admin permissions and can add or remove circle members.
Beyond that, you must add places your friends or family often visit, such as home, school, gym, grocery stores, etc. Each place has a virtual boundary or geofence, which can be between 250 feet and 2 miles in radius.
Lastly, you have to activate the crash detection and add your emergency contacts. These contacts should be people outside your Life360 circle that will get notifications when a circle member triggers an alert. You can pull the phone number from your contact list or add it manually.
When you open Life360, you'll see the location tracker — the default screen — which displays each member's location on a map. It grants you full parental control, so no more guessing where the kids are. Instead, you can tap on their pin to get their precise location and how long they have been at that place.
In addition, Life360 notifies you of a member's check-in or departure from a place. For example, "Fridah arrived at home" or "Jayden left school." The real-time notifications help you keep tabs on the kids, family members, or nanny as she heads out to pick up supplies at the grocery store.
Besides enhancing the circle's location safety, Life360 helps trace a missing or stolen phone, provided the phone is on, and the user has activated location services.
Driving Habits Monitoring
When family members are on a journey, the app gives you much-needed peace of mind. It updates their driving speeds, phone usage, hard braking, and acceleration during their trip.
This is helpful, especially when the speed demon in your family is behind the wheel. You can monitor the speeds in real-time. If you notice erratic acceleration patterns, you can warn the driver via a call or in-app message.
You can also open the driving tab to see the family driving summary or drill down a member's route history to see their past trips and derive insights into their journeys.
Life360 also ensures the security of your family during the journey. For example, they can use the 'trigger help alert' to call for roadside assistance when they get a flat tire, run out of gas or need a tow. The app sends an SOS help alert to circle members "Samson needs help," prompting them to take action.
If you need to reach the person in distress, tap 'get direction.' This will show you where the distressed member is and suggest the shortest route.
The crash detection tool springs to action if a member is involved in a severe accident. The app registers the crash and instantly prompts Life360 agents to contact the person involved in the accident. The agents will also inform the listed emergency contacts of the accident.
Remember that the tool detects a crash only when a vehicle moving at least 25 mph comes to an abrupt halt. So if you stop by the roadside and are hit by a rogue car, the tool might not register that as an accident. Also, the app won't detect a crash if the person's phone battery level is below 10%.
The in-app messaging helps circle members stay in touch. You can use it in tandem with the location notification. For example, when you notice mom just arrived at the mall, you can request her to pick up something for you via a quick message.
Life360 has a free version and two tiers of paid plans. The free plan limits you to two places and two days of location history. It also lets you use crash detection and receive data breach alerts. Still, you can't call for roadside assistance or view individual driver reports.
The Gold Membership, which costs $14.99 per month, unlocks 30 days of location history, unlimited place alerts, driving safety tools, and ID theft protection. If you need additional features such as 50 miles of free towing, advanced location tracking, digital safety, and emergency assistance, subscribe to the Platinum Membership for $24.99 per month.
What Are the Downsides of Life360?
Location tracking, mileage, and emergency assistance tools can sway business owners to use Life360. However, if you look at the other side of the coin, the odds are stacked against using the app for business.
We dissected the Life360 security and privacy profile to help you understand the dangers of using it for business and found two glaring issues.
Failed Security Tests
Cyberattacks are rampant in today's digital era. Hackers seek the tiniest opportunity to penetrate your company's systems, steal data, and conduct ransomware and other cyberattacks. Using Life360 could give attackers the leeway they need. Here's why.
In 2022, the Markup put Life360 through a series of security tests by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), — a renowned organization that advocates app security standards. They put the app through the Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS) tests.
Life360 passed 11 of the 19 tests but failed six critical tests, exposing a serious security concern. According to test results, the app doesn't verify passwords against a predefined set of rules. So, for example, it doesn't flag obvious passwords such as "12345" or "password."
Even worse, Life360 doesn't flag famously breached passwords, leaving the user account at risk of takeover. It also doesn't have login attempt limits, meaning attackers can make unlimited logins and password guesses using bots to crack passwords.
Sells User Data to Third-Parties
Employees can sue you for failing to protect their data. This is what befell the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Hackers stole employees' data after accessing the university's system and used it to file false tax returns. As a result, the institution faced the full force of the law, and you could find yourself in a similar situation with Life360.
According to a report by the Markup, Life360 has been selling location data to third parties since 2016. The vendor has turned user data into a multi-billion-dollar opportunity and has shown no sign of relenting. Despite the data-selling rumors, the company has continued to expand its empire by acquiring Jiobit and Tile — a famous item-tracking company.
The vendor is a firehose of data for companies such as SafeGraph, X-Mode, Cuebiq, and Allstate's Arity. The companies have been beating the path to Life360's door, licking their lips at the sheer volume and precision of use data. Former employees of these companies have admitted that without Life360 data, their employer's operation wouldn't run smoothly.
If your employees use the app, you're steering your company into a legal ditch. If you'd rather not risk your employees' data falling into the hands of third parties or malevolent actors, get a location tracking app that prioritizes privacy, such as Timeero.
Is Life360 an Invasion of Privacy?
Yes and no. It depends on several factors, such as how you use the app and what you value in terms of privacy. Life360 comes with a feature that allows you to share your location with others. You can turn this feature on or off at any time, depending on your preferences. However, for the app to work as intended, it is recommended that you keep this feature on.
Employees, for instance, can switch off location sharing at the end of their shift.
However, the best GPS tracking apps, such as Timeero, safeguard employee privacy. First, it doesn't track off-the-clock employees. Secondly, it has reminders to ensure employees clock out after their shifts.
For all intents and purposse, Life360 leaves room for invasive monitoring. For example, if an employee forgets to switch off location sharing, the app doesn't notify them to prompt them to do so. That makes it prone to overstepping the boundary and invading employee privacy.
Perhaps, the Arias vs. Intermex Wire Transfer case depicts what could happen in case of invasive monitoring. Myrna Arias — a former Intermex sales representative — sued her employer for wrongful termination after she uninstalled an invasive GPS tracking app.
The parties ultimately agreed to settle the case out of court. But the case shows that employees can sue your company for invasive monitoring. Life360 walks you down that road.
You should also keep an eye on the Stop Spying Bosses Act, proposed by a group of Senate Democrats. The act proposes measures to protect workers from intrusive employer monitoring on and off the clock. Should this bill pass, using tools such as Life360 could spell serious trouble.
Should You Use Life360 for Business?
We've turned every stone, and now, Life360's shortcomings are clear as day. The security weakness and the blemished privacy stature are reasons you shouldn't use this app.
Moreover, invasive monitoring is a chink in Life360's armor, and it could plunge you into legal disputes.
Is There a Better Tracking App than Life360?
There are better tracking apps than Life360, and Timeero is the top of the cream. Timeero enables you to track employee time, GPS location, and mileage in a way that doesn't violate federal or state laws. Here's a lowdown on Timeero's capability.
Timeero: Secure, Reliable Tracking App For Businesses
Whether you're managing remote, mobile, or office-based employees, Timeero keeps you on top of employee time and location.
Real-time GPS Location Tracking
Life360 works only when there's a stable internet connection. As a result, if a user loses an internet connection or enters a region with a weak signal, the app displays their last recorded location. Employees can be miles from their designated job location, but Life360 will show they're still working.
If precision in employee location is a priority, Timeero GPS tracking will give you just that. The app tracks employee location and gives you real-time intel on their movements.
When you click 'Who's Working,' you see the location of all clocked-in employees. You can tell who's in the designated job location and those wandering outside their designated job area.
The best part is that Timeero doesn't engage in invasive monitoring. The app tracks employee locations only when they're on the clock. The app ceases to track their location when employees clock out after their shift, upholding their privacy.
Timeero’s route replay feature blends GPS tracking with breadcrumb technology to help you determine where the employee has been throughout the day. The breadcrumbs provide speeds and detailed timestamps.
The breadcrumb timestamps are helpful, particularly if you pay employees such as sales reps or realtors to spend quality time with customers. You can calculate an agent's time at the designated customer place by computing the time difference between the two most proximate breadcrumbs.
IRS-Compliant Mileage Logs
If your mobile workforce uses their vehicle, you need to reimburse them for miles driven. Timeero uses motion-detection technology to track miles only when it recognizes the device is within driving speed.
In addition, the mileage logs are IRS-compliant, meaning you can use them to claim taxable income deductions.
Moreover, Timeero helps save on fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. The suggested mileage recommends the shortest route to a customer's location. For example, if you have delivery drivers who frequently drop off packages at the exact location, the suggested mileage will propose the shortest route.
Besides reducing fuel costs, it shortens the expected time of arrival for the packages, which goes a long way toward improving customer satisfaction.
In addition, Timeero helps you track employees' locations accurately and remunerate employees fairly without violating FSLA regulations. Features like geofencing and facial recognition eradicate off-site, buddy punching, and other time-theft tactics.
Life360 App Review: Best for Personal, Not Business Use
Even though Life360 is rapidly becoming the go-to app for parents to track their kids and loved ones, it does raise some serious privacy concerns. The app's failed security test and the vendor's constant habit of auctioning user data prove you shouldn't be using the app for your family, let alone business.
The app engages in potential invasive monitoring and will only spell legal doom for your company. Instead, use an all-in-one tracking app such as Timeero. Timeero lets you track employee time, GPS location, and mileage in one comprehensive suite.
Start a free trial today to get 14 days of risk-free testing.
What Does Life 360 Track?
Life360 tracks user location, vehicle speeds, and miles driven. It can also monitor other habits, such as phone usage while driving.
What Can Life360 Admin See?
Life360 admin can see the location of circle members and receive all relevant notifications. Circle members can add friends and family, but only the admin can assign admin roles and remove circle members.
Can Life360 See What You Do on Your Phone?
No, Life360 and your circle members can't see what you do on your phone. It doesn't snoop on your communication, take a screenshot of your activity or record internet history; it only tracks your location.
Timeero helps you track employee location and time without invading their privacy.
Get a first-hand feel for our unique GPS location tracking features.
Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.