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FCC Discovers 'One or More Carriers' Violate Federal Law on Location Data Privacy

Last year, there were reports that people could easily access the location data of a customer by paying for it. Ever since then, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been hot on the trail of carriers that broke the law. Today, however, the government agency discovered that "one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law."

The FCC earlier sent a letter to the Committee on Energy and Commerce detailing the findings of their investigation. In it, they disclosed how the real-time location data of consumers were accessed. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote:

"I am committed to ensuring that all entities subject to our jurisdiction comply with the Communications Act and the FCC's rules, including those that protect consumers' sensitive information, such as real-time location data."

With regards to which carriers broke the law, there was no mention of specifics or how they will be punished for it. The FCC Chairman, however, promised that the other FCC Commissioners will receive a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the next few days.

Back in January 2019, there were already reports that third parties could easily purchase customer location data from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The reports even shared that a bounty hunter was able to locate a T-Mobile phone for a $300 payment.

When the news broke out last year, the carriers promised that they will impose stricter practices in handling customer location data and who can access this info. T-Mobile already shared that it completely ended work involving location aggregation. Sprint also said that it would be cutting ties with companies that were able to access location data.

Ever since then, the FCC has done an "extensive investigation" on the matter but discovered that one or more carriers broke the law. Further details should be unveiled as the days pass.

Source: PhoneDog 

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