Mobile responds to location data scandal, says it’s ‘completely ending’ aggregator work

Topperest  Shutterstock

Topperest Shutterstock

"The American people have an absolute right to the privacy of their data, which is why I'm extraordinarily troubled by reports of this system of repackaging and reselling location data to unregulated third party services for potentially nefarious purposes", the junior senator from California said. "I'll believe it when I see it", said US Senator Ron Wyden, who called on the FCC to investigate the issue previous year.

Motherboard alleges that by giving a bounty hunter a few hundred dollars and a phone number, they were given the general area of the phone using that number. The move came after reports revealed third parties were providing law enforcement officials access to cellphone location data without court orders. We're ending this location aggregator work the right way - avoiding the impact consumers who use these types of services for things like emergency assistance.

If the FCC still had those privacy protection powers, then it could have required wireless carriers to get opt-in consent from consumers prior to sharing geolocation data, and taken affirmative action, including imposing sanctions on the broadband providers that would be responsible for selling data to a chain of companies with disruptive data collection practices.

The sharing of the phone location data at the center of the report began at T-Mobile, which shared it with a "location aggregator", who shared it with a phone location service, which shared it with a bounty hunter, who shared it with a source, who ultimately sent the phone's location to Motherboard, according to the report. Ron Wyden of Oregon. 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.

While there is money to be made and no law preventing it, it is a virtual certainty that AT&T and others will figure out a way to profit from selling their customers' private data. "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", the company wrote in a statement.

T-Mobile said in a statement to The Verge that it has "blocked access to device location data for any request submitted by Zumigo".

This call revealed that even after the phone companies in the United States promised that they would stop selling it, they continued to do same. However, a recent report by Motherboard discovered that the carriers are still selling location information to these aggregators, opening up the risk that this data could get into the hands of bad actors.

MCTS driver rescues baby boy walking alone on freeway overpass
The child went missing after officials believe the child's mother had a mental health crisis, the transit system release said. Editor's note: A previous version of this story from the Associated Press identified the child as a boy.

Pallone said the emergency FCC briefing should be held on Monday - regardless of whether or not the federal government is still shut down.

"The FCC needs to investigate", Rosenworcel said Wednesday on MSNBC.

When asked what the agency could do to impose financial or criminal penalties, Rosenworcel explained that the FCC has the authority to look at customer proprietary network information and location information.

Harris called on the Federal Communications Commission to immediately open an investigation.

Democrats have called for an investigation of the carriers' data-sharing practices.

The FCC did not immediately respond to requests for comment; the agency's operations are limited because of the ongoing government shutdown.

Latest News