T-Mobile won’t sell location data to ‘shady middlemen’, says CEO John Legere


UPDATE: T-Mobile today sent me the following statement regarding this news: “We ended all transmission of customer data to Securus and are terminating our location aggregator agreements.”


ORIGINAL: Today several U.S. carriers committed to stop selling customer location data to brokers, and now T-Mobile CEO John Legere has chimed in on the matter.

Legere has said that he’s “personally evaluated” the issue involving user location data, pledging that T-Mo “will not sell customer location data to shady middlemen.” This issue came into the spotlight last month when it was discovered that the LocationSmart website would allow anyone to track the location of any phone. In a related incident, LocationSmart was providing data to Securus, which a sheriff used to track the location of other peoples’ cellphones without court orders.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have committed to stop selling location data to third-party data brokers after Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] wrote a letter to all four major U.S. carriers to learn more about how they handle the location data of customers. T-Mobile had no other info on its pledge to share other than what’s in Legere’s statement.

It’s worth noting that none of these carriers have said that they’ll completely stop stelling customer location data. The moves that they’re making do mean that the carriers should be cutting out middlemen, though, and ensuring that customer location data is being handled more securely.

Sources: John Legere, Associated Press, The Verge

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  • All these firms’ executives deserve life prison terms for this abuse, which was undertaken without ANY fair disclosure to customers. That’s illegal, by the way, under long-standing “deceptive and unfair practice” law allegedly enforced by the FTC. WHERE ARE THE DAMN COPS?

  • Zach B.

    Read the words carefully in the press statements. They’re not stopping the practice of selling OUR information to others. They’re stopping the practice of selling OUR information to the “shady” ones. They’re still going to overcharge for less than stellar service AND sell OUR information to the “non-shady” guys.

    Really wish America had politicians like the European Union has. We desperately need a massive overhaul of consumer rights here ever since Reagan came to power and handed the nation over to the 1% at our expense.

    • smathias503

      True dat, true dat! We are suffering the aftermath of Reaganomics & deregulation. The irony is that so many people praise Reagan for being a great president & at the same time get upset over Enron, etc. The average American is so ignorant of truth since they’re all tuned into Fox News, etc. while at the same time they scream at the top of their lungs over freedom of the press, freedom of speech, &, freedom to individuality, but, are too stupid to realize that our press is isn’t government censored, but, without a doubt corporate censored. America reminds me of the childhood book, “The Emporers New Clothes,” because so many of our citizens ARE CLUELESS! Freedom and equality is more prevalent in other parts of the world, but, far too many unexposed, isolated, un-worldly Yanks think the USA is the ONLY country who lives this way.

  • pda96

    If every company in America stopped selling our private data, they would go bankrupt! This is their core business, folks. Don’t kid yourselves.

    • alfonzso

      True! Data is the new oil.

  • Nearmsp

    So much for the uncarrier. T-mobile is caught red handed selling our most private location information. Shame on T-mobile. Once they get Sprint, they are going to morph into AT&T or Verizon.

    • alfonzso

      I share your sentiments. I had my suspicions the first time I tried out the T-Mobile app. The terms for use of that app states it pretty clearly. Obviously I don’t have that app installed. Still, they need to track you for 911 purposes.

  • rock_steady

    if you use yahoo, FB, Google services, cellphones, even online banking. There are privacy clauses there. All these companies mine data from you. If you don’t want personal data mined from you, you can live under a rock. If there happens to be a wireless carrier who does not mine data from you, let me know.

    • If you get together with some people and set up a wISP, maybe. The fiber backhaul can be IP-tracked, but the location would be constant and serve multiple users.

    • alfonzso

      Mining data to improve ones products and ensure account security is one thing. Selling to third parties is something else.

  • Boss Hogg

    So, will T-Mobile sell our location data to non-shady middlemen?

    • Disqus5218

      That, and other end points. Just not the people in the middle.

  • terryo

    Thanks, I just deleted the T-Mobile app and T-Mobile Tuesdays one. No need to hand over the car keys unnecessarily. I pay my account manually every month so they can’t keep my credit card on file – at least I don’t freely hand it over.

    • steveb944

      They still have your customer information on file and the network itself knows what and where you’re doing.

  • saimin

    Is there any way to opt out of T-Mobile selling our location data to any middlemen, not just the “shady” ones? I do not recall ever opting in to this.