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Sprint follows T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon by promising to stop selling user location data

By Polycount ยท 5 replies
Jan 16, 2019
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  1. Motherboard dropped a bombshell last week when it revealed that mobile carriers have been selling their customers' live location data to third parties.

    Those third parties then sold the data to other third parties, and eventually -- through a long and complex chain of custody -- the information ended up in the hands of bounty hunters and other less-scrupulous individuals.

    After this report went public, several major cell providers vowed to stop selling location data, period; even in cases where there are consumer benefits, such as selling it to roadside assistance companies. The first three companies to make this promise were Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, and each company plans to stop data sales by March.

    Sprint is a little late to the party, but it's made a similar promise now.

    "We implemented new, more stringent safeguards to help protect customer location data, but as a result of recent events, we have decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators."

    "Last year we decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators, but assessed that the negative impacts to customers for services like roadside assistance and bank fraud alerts/protection that would result required a different approach," Sprint said in a statement to Cnet. "We implemented new, more stringent safeguards to help protect customer location data, but as a result of recent events, we have decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators."

    Unlike the other telecom companies mentioned above, Sprint isn't necessarily abiding by the same March deadline. However, according to Cnet, the company will end location data sales in the "next several months."

    Only time will tell whether Sprint will stick to its word, but with all the scrutiny the industry is facing from regulators now, it most likely will.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. ckm88

    ckm88 TS Booster Posts: 85   +53

    Oh really now, Sprint? Really? Swear on your mothers grave!
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Selling? How about gathering? It is my life, my information, no one else has a right to it. If my information is needed for some reason, that should be the extent of usage.
     
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,803   +3,187

    I'm going to guess the industry as a whole will lay low for a whole 3 months and then continue to start selling that information again. These companies can do what they want with impunity.

    We needed data privacy and sharing laws years ago. Why is it that Disney can prevent whoever they want from copying Pocahontas yet the average Joe can't do anything to stop google from gathering and selling every little bit of information about him. You might as well pretend to be a Disney princess, at least then you'd have some protections under the law.

    Not that the government can even persecute any big cases during a government shutdown. The failure of the government to protect ordinary citizens is directly to the gain of large corporations.
     
  5. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 387   +120

    I don't disagree entirely, but that means you give up being able to automatically connect to different towers as you move, gathering location data for your maps, and many more capabilities. They still have to get the data, although they shouldn't be selling it to anyone without a need to know and without restriction and knowledge of the customer in question.
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    So every town you drive through they collect data on your name, time, color of your vehicle, tinted windows, number of passengers, tire pressure, etc..? I don't think so. Even when you stop for gas and pay for a service, the payment is all they care about.
     

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