'In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have chose to eliminate all location aggregation services-even those with clear consumer benefits, ' an AT&T spokesman told PCMag. It will end in March, as planned and promised.' For what it's worth, Legere this past summer said that T-Mobile would stop selling 'customer location data to shady middlemen'.
"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". 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. And they are right - what mobile operators are doing with our location data endangers not only consumer privacy, but also personal safety and USA national security.
Wyden has called on the FCC to investigate the relationship between wireless carriers and data brokers.
"The FCC once again appears to have dragged its feet in protecting consumers", Pallone said in the letter.
"The intended use of MicroBilt's location services is to verify individuals, with their consent, who are submitting applications for financial services products". As you might expect, the bad publicity hasn't stopped carriers from working with those companies, as evidenced by a recent article from Motherboard.
"At least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from auto salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, according to sources familiar with the company's products and company documents obtained by Motherboard", Cox wrote.
Until carriers cut ties with data aggregation companies like Zumigo, or until the United States introduces legislation that prevents the selling of this data, this harmful practice will likely continue as usual.
However, these recent demands from lawmakers come almost seven months after Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile originally pledged to stop providing information on phone owners' locations to data brokers. "We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done in March". First, we should explain that an MVNO is a mobile virtual network operator. "The FCC needs to investigate".
Harris called on the Federal Communications Commission to immediately open an investigation. But they sell access to this information to bail bondsmen (AKA bounty hunters) some of whom will do a location check for money under the table. "This entire ecosystem needs oversight". "It's time for the FCC to get its act together". After they expire, Verizon customers will have to agree to have their location data sold. The bottom line is that the Ajit Pai FCC could easily address this problem using the authority it has now, they've just chosen not to because it might just hurt telecom revenues.
Pallone is asking for a meeting on January 14, even if the government shutdown isn't over by then.