Cellular Carriers Swear Off Location Data Sales

All four major cellular carriers in the U.S. today pledged to stop selling real-time location data of its cellular phone users to a collection of third-party data brokers, delivering a blow to what a U.S. Senator dubbed “shady middlemen.”

Verizon was the first cellular carrier to take action in response to an investigation instigated by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden that looked into how cellular companies sell customers’ real-time location data to data brokers. Wyden made the request following security incidents that his office helped bring to light. That security incidents involved a pair of companies, including LocationSmart, a California data broker that claims to have a “direct connection” into cell carrier networks, and Securus Technologies, a Texas-based “prison technology” company that works with LocationSmart.

Author: Alex Woodie

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