AT&T to end all location-data sales to data brokers
AT&T to end all location-data sales to data brokers
All you need to track any phone’s location is a small bribe
13 January, 2019, 17:29
As for the other USA carriers, Sprinttold that it has ended its contract with Zumigo and blocked Microbilt from accessing Sprint location data.
Wyden also wrote to the four major United States cellular telcos - AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint - asking them to carry out an audit of which third parties had access to user location data, and ensure that they had people's consent before sharing such personally identifiable information. AT&T also said at the time that it would be maintaining those of its agreements that provided clear consumer benefits, such as location sharing for roadside assistance services. Fast forward to this month, and journalist Joe Cox was able to pay a bounty hunter $300 to have someone's T-Mobile US phone number tracked and located - through the exact same location reselling system that had previously been exposed. We asked Sprint for an update today and will update this article if we get a response.
It would have further expanded the scope of the Federal Trade Commission's authority to pursue privacy violators; at present, it can't even penalise first-time corporate offenders. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen.
Verizon was not among the carriers flagged in Motherboard'sreport. "Major carriers pledged to end these practices, but it appears to have been more empty promises to consumers", Wyden wrote in a tweet.
Wireless providers say plans have already been set in motion to crack down on the unauthorized resale of data and to make sure that the data is used only for legitimate purposes.
The telecom industry has "failed again and again", he said, "to protect Americans' information". "But until 2020, and until other states become as proactive as California, we have no choice, and that's why the lack of a penalty for the abuse is so galling", Court said. One was a report posted yesterday by Motherboard that said AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile were still selling their customers' real-time location data.
Verizon said there will be an exception for useful services that, for instance, help customers with roadside assistance or fraud protection, but only after the user gives permission. "I'll believe it when I see it", said US Senator Ron Wyden, who called on the FCC to investigate the issue past year.
'In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have made a decision to eliminate all location aggregation services-even those with clear consumer benefits, ' an AT&T spokesman told PCMag. "We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done in March". "That's the problem and that's where the oversight is necessary", she said. Wyden reiterated his call for Congress to pass his legislation banning carriers from selling mobile subscribers' location data.
"We take the privacy and security of our customers' information very seriously and will not tolerate any misuse of our customers' data", A T-Mobile spokesperson told Motherboard in an emailed statement.
However, without these rules, the broadband providers are not incentivized to change anything despite their aloof public ideals of prioritizing consumer data privacy - even with Securus past year and Motherboard's exposé about MicroBilt a few days ago, a representative of T-Mobile's response was that it is only "nearly finished the process of terminating its agreements with location aggregators".
"We have previously stated that we are terminating the agreements we have with third-party data aggregators and we are almost finished with that process", a T-Mobile spokesperson told Ars this week. The FTC could also probably ding T-Mobile for being "unfair and deceptive" under Section 5 of the FTC act, yet has been similarly mute as carriers bullshit their way around their failures on this front. "T-Mobile is completely ending location aggregator work". "We're shutting it down one by one, making sure consumers who use this for things like health and safety services have a chance to make other arrangements", he tweeted.
All of this comes after Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T promised to end its contracts with aggregation companies. T-Mobile reportedly is winding down this practice and will stop it altogether in March.
The Vice story said the data was accurate within a radius of about 1,500 feet.
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