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FCC asks mobile carriers about data retention and privacy policies

2022-07-20 17:41 by


AT&T's John Stankey, T-Mobile's Mike Sievert, Verizon's Hans Vestberg and the leaders of other mobile operators all received similar letters this week from FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asking them to respond with details about their companies' mobile data sharing policies and procedures. They have until August 3 to respond.

While many consumers are beginning to pay attention to the privacy offered by their web browsers, email accounts, and the apps installed on their phones, few think about the risk their wireless carrier poses. Wireless carriers have access to customers' geolocation data and can link that data to specific users.

Rosenworcel wants to know exactly how carries are using that data, as well as their safeguards and retention policies.

"Mobile internet service providers are uniquely situated to capture a trove of data about their own subscribers, including the subscriber's actual identity and personal characteristics, geolocation data, app usage and web browsing data and habits," the letters point out.

"The highly sensitive nature of this data - especially when location data is combined with other types of data - and the ways in which this data is stored and shared with third parties is of utmost importance to consumer safety and privacy," Rosenworcel added in the letter.

An FCC investigation found that even after several highly public press reports revealed customer data was getting into unauthorized hands, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon all continued to sell access to the sensitive information to so-called "aggregators" without putting adequate safeguards in place, in some cases for more than a year, with T-Mobile getting the largest fine.

Read more -here-


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