Economy

Lawmakers demanding answers from data providers over sale of location data

Lawmakers demanding answers from data providers over sale of location data

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

Motherboard's investigation found that telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, would sell location data with an aggregator, which sold the data to MicroBilt, which then sold it to a Motherboard investigator for "dirt cheap".

LocationSmart, a company that provided geolocation data on almost any phone in the United States was investigated past year. Stat." In a subsequent post in which she agreed with Harris and others calling for an investigation, Rosenworcel added: "It shouldn't be that you pay a few hundred dollars to a bounty hunter and then they can tell you in real time where a phone is within a few hundred meters.

"The FCC once again appears to have dragged its feet in protecting consumers", Pallone said in the letter. It was still sharing location data with anyone who wanted to pay in the first place, putting its customers at risk from hackers, stalkers - or worse.

Rep. Frank Pallone, the House Energy and Commerce committee chair, is asking the FCC to end location data sales from mobile carriers.

The telecom industry has "failed again and again", he said, "to protect Americans' information". For example, a carrier might allow a bank access to a user's real-time location as a means to better detect fraud. "It's a pattern. You know, they do it, they get caught, they apologize and its kind of wash rinse and repeat", Wyden said.

It's also interesting that this experiment was done with a T-Mobile device given that John Legere this past June pledged that his company "will not sell customer location data to shady middlemen".

Motherboard described how the data is passed along a chain of private companies. Those deals have been terminated.

Miami Heat Cruise Past the Boston Celtics, 115-99 - ESPN 98.1 FM
Thursday night's win snapped Miami's two-game losing streak and they now have an overall record of 20-20. Sure enough, the pair found each other on the court after Boston's 115-99 loss.

T-Mobile told the site it wouldn't tolerate misuse of customer data. T-Mobile's initial promise in June 2018 did not specify an end date.

The bounty hunter was successful in tracking the phone through data from a third-party aggregator called Zumigo.

As a result, MicroBilt was unaware that its terms of use were being violated by the rogue individual that submitted the request under false pretenses, does not approve of such use cases, and has a clear policy that such violations will result in loss of access to all MicroBilt services and termination of the requesting party's end-user agreement. "Microbilt is committed to using its services to protect consumers and business from fraud".

According to Google, as soon as it heard about T-Mobile and Sprint's predilection toward selling location data to location aggregators, the company demanded that the two carriers stop selling data related to Project Fi customers.

"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 stated this week.

Sprint said it does not "knowingly share personally identifiable geo-location information except with customer consent or in response to a lawful request such as a validated court order from law enforcement". With phone location data tracking, there may not be many options to opt out of getting tracked other than not having a device.

"It's part of a bigger problem; the USA has a completely unregulated data ecosystem", Frederike Kaltheuner, data exploitation programme lead at campaign group Privacy International, told the publication.


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