Carriers are still selling customer location data2019-01-10 17:41 by Daniela
An investigation by Motherboard into the privacy practices of companies like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint has demonstrated that these companies are still selling your personal data, including your real-time location information, to virtually anyone who wants it.
In June 2018, all four major US wireless carriers pledged to stop selling their mobile customers' location information to third-party data brokers. The carriers were pressured into making the change after a security problem leaked the real-time location of US cell phone users.
Carriers argue that they only have direct data-sharing relationships with trusted partners, and that problems tend to arise when those partners sell data to other brokers, who then sell it again. The degrees of separation begin to erode credibility.
T-Mobile was selling location info to data-aggregator Zumigo, which provided access to MicroBilt. T-Mobile confirmed its relationship with Zumigo and, following Cox's enquiries, said it blocked all future requests that Zumigo could make on behalf of MicroBilt.
AT&T said that it has "shut down access for MicroBilt as we investigate these allegations."
"We only permit sharing of location when a customer gives permission for cases like fraud prevention or emergency roadside assistance or when required by law," AT&T also said. "Over the past few months, as we committed to do, we have been shutting down everything else."
Location data can be bought for legitimate purposes, for example by financial firms seeking to detect fraud, or roadside-assistance companies using it to find customers whose vehicles break down, according to Motherboard.
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