AT&T to end all location-data sales to data brokers

T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T are under fire for selling customer location data

A spokesperson for Sprint told CNET that it has ended its relationship with companies that abuse location data but still provides location data when customers give their consent.

Wyden, widely regarded as Washington's leading lawmaker on matters where privacy and security intersect, circulated draft legislation late previous year to combat this issue specifically.

The bounty hunter located the phone in Queens, New York using a subscription to location data broker Microbilt, which in turn got the data from another company Zumigo, which directly buys location data from carriers, according to the report.

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceWireless! He said Thursday that Congress needs to pass legislation to ensure they come to a halt.

US Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote, "This information could be obtained by anyone: a stalker, an ex, or a child predator".

CTIA guidelines and best practices agreed to by marketing associations and their members appear to be meaningless when nefarious practices such as those reported by Motherboard continue unencumbered.

Democrats have called for an investigation of the carriers' data-sharing practices.

The bill, which had little hope of passing in the Republican-controlled body, would've imposed stiff fines and even criminal penalties on executives who knowingly misled federal regulators about data-handling practices.

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"At least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from auto salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, according to sources familiar with the company's products and company documents obtained by Motherboard", Cox wrote. But AT&T made an exception for useful services that, for instance, help customers with roadside assistance or fraud protection.

'Over the past few months, as we committed to do, we have been shutting down everything else. "In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have made a decision to eliminate all location aggregation services-even those with clear consumer benefits. We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done in March".

"We take the privacy and security of our customers' information very seriously and will not tolerate any misuse of our customers' data. We have terminated all other such arrangements".

If Verizon reaches any new data-sharing agreements in the future, "we're insisting that customers will have to proactively consent before any location information is shared", Verizon said.

Verizon says that it ended its agreement with Zumigo before the original report came out this week.

A Sprint spokeswoman told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that "protecting our customers" privacy and security is a top priority' for the company.

But cell phone companies deserve some attention, too. "We have previously stated that we are terminating the agreements we have with third party data aggregators and we are almost finished with that process", the company wrote in a statement. "T-Mobile is completely ending location aggregator work". 'We're doing it the right way to avoid impacting consumers who use these types of services for things like emergency assistance. "It will end in March, as planned and promised", he wrote in a tweet. T-Mobile's initial promise in June 2018 did not specify an end date.

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