FCC Fines Major Wireless Carriers Over 2019 Investigation on Customer Location Data

The major wireless carriers in the country are currently facing a fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for illegally selling the location data of its customers without their consent. This marks the end of a 2019 investigation into how carriers disregarded the privacy of its customers. 

According to the FCC’s investigation, carriers like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile sold the location data of its customers to aggregators. In turn, these aggregators sold the data to third parties like credit card companies, law enforcement agencies, and bounty hunters. 

FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said:

“Our communications providers have access to some of the most sensitive information about us. These carriers failed to protect the information entrusted to them. Here, we are talking about some of the most sensitive data in their possession: customers’ real-time location information, revealing where they go and who they are.” 

Based on the FCC’s probe, the carriers are facing a fine amounting to the following:

  • T-Mobile: $80 million
  • AT&T: $57 million
  • Verizon: $47 million
  • Sprint: $12 million

Various factors were used to identify the penalty that each carrier would be facing, such as the duration of the misconduct and number of entities that gained access to customers’ location data.

Source: AndroidAuthority

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