FCC investigation finds that carriers violated the law with sale of customer location data
The FCC announced today that some U.S. carriers violated federal law, and one of them may be T-Mobile.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has confirmed that “one or more wireless carriers” broke the law by selling customers’ real-time location data. Pai said in a letter to the Committee on Energy and Commerce that the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau conducted an “extensive investigation” into the matter, but he did not specify which carriers were found to have violated the law.
Pai did say that in the coming days, he plans to circulate a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to the other FCC Commissioners, so we may learn more about which carriers are at fault here and what their punishment will be soon.
A little over a year ago, a report found that it was easy to buy the location data of customers on T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. One example was that a T-Mo customer’s location info was purchased from a bounty hunter for $300. The info was acquired from location aggregators that had acquired the info from the carriers.
T-Mobile said that it would stop working with location aggregators shortly after that report came out.