15 senators demand FCC, FTC investigate carriers selling location data

CNET | 1/24/2019 | Alfred Ng
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A group of senators are demanding investigations on mobile carriers selling location data.

Lawmakers have ramped up their call for investigations on mobile carriers.

Letter - Senators - Thursday - Group - Lawmakers

In a letter signed by 15 senators on Thursday, the group of lawmakers demanded investigations from the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communication Commission on wireless carriers selling location data to third parties.

That location data went to about 70 companies, without customers' consent, the Congress members said in the letter. The document is signed by senators including Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Wireless - Carriers - Practices - Business - Partners

"It is clear that these wireless carriers have failed to regulate themselves or police the practices of their business partners, and have needlessly exposed American consumers to serious harm," the letter, addressed to FCC chairman Ajit Pai and FTC chairman Joseph Simons, said.

The FTC and the FCC did not respond to a request for comment.

Letter - Weeks - Motherboard - Investigation - Carriers

The letter comes more than two weeks after a Motherboard investigation found that carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon were still providing customer location data -- often for legitimate purposes like emergency services, but then handed over to shady buyers like bounty hunters.

The backlash caused T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon to promise to completely end the practice by March, though many lawmakers remain skeptical. Sprint announced on Jan. 16 that it was also ending the practice, though it does not state a deadline.

Senators - FTC - FCC - Carriers - Data

Senators are asking the FTC and FCC to investigate if wireless carriers and data aggregators knew that they were obtaining people's location data without their knowledge and consent. The...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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