AT&T Claims it will Stop Selling Your Location Data

AT&T and the other big three carriers claim they will stop selling your location data in March. But they already missed the June 2018 deadline (via ArsTechnica).

[Bounty Hunter Successfully Tracked Down a Phone]

Deadline Missed

The carriers had already promised to stop selling customer location data back in June 2018. But a recent investigation showed they kept going. Now the carriers claim they will stop it for realsies this time:

Last year we stopped most location aggregation services while maintaining some that protect our customers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention. In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have decided 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.

T-Mobile also plans to stop, while Sprint says it will look into the matter. Verizon wasn’t flagged as part of the investigation, and says it stopped selling data a long time ago.

[Wall Street Makes Money From Your Location Data]

One thought on “AT&T Claims it will Stop Selling Your Location Data

  • I noticed no one used the “a” word, “android” and the “g” word, “Google”. Unsurprisingly, because this is “the Mac Observer”, not “the Google Observer”.

    I only bring this up because Google doesn’t just use your ‘droid phone’s location data, it indexes any photos you take with your ‘droid phone to those location data and makes them publicly available.

    Once you naively agree to share those data with Google, you have to jump through hoops to get your privacy back at the “ok, we’ve stopped, we pinky-swear we’re not sharing any new snaps and where you took them” level.

    Of course, you can see Google in court after something they illegally did with your data after that point messes your life up. Good luck with suing a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate.

    Since location data are metadata, smartphone-wise, the US Government sees them as things they can use legally. The National Security Agency’s teraservers capture that sort of thing for the US government’s own purposes and those of their partners in the Five Eyes group (although all the courtroom drama over the FBI subpoena for encryption keys to iPhones seems a littlle disingenuous unless NSA is holding out on the Department of Justice).

    I know this is a Mac forum, but it’s worth mentioning to any android phone owners reading this that once you agree that Google can share your photos and location data, you will be sharing it with people you haven’t specifically agreed can see it. Think long and hard about that before you agree to share anything with Google.

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