After the FCC confirmed last month that U.S. wireless carriers broke the law by selling customers’ real-time location data, a new report says that all four major operators will face fines.
T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are all expected to be hit with fines that could be at least $200 million in total. The fines will be officially announced by the FCC on Friday, reports Reuters, and the carriers will be able to challenge the fines before they become final.
The exact amount of the fines could change and may even increase.
Back in May 2018, a bug on the website of location aggregator LocationSmart allowed anyone to find the location of another person’s cellphone. Then a report in early 2019 found that T-Mobile and other major carriers had been selling access to customer location data. In one example, a bounty hunter was paid $300 for a Google Maps screenshot that showed the location of a T-Mobile customer’s phone.
After the latter report came out, the U.S. carriers said that they would end the agreements with location aggregators that led to the sale of customer location data. T-Mobile said that it ended location aggregator work in March 2019.
None of the major U.S. carriers have responded to this news of impending fines.