There’s more to the bounty hunter location data story that Motherboard reported on earlier this month. One of the data brokers involved was Zumigo.
Zumigo and the FCC
Zumigo is a data broker that gets location data directly from carriers and sells it for a profit. And to the surprise of no one, the company lobbied the FCC in 2017 against user consent requirements for data sharing.
A presentation slide found by Motherboard says:
As breaches become more prevalent and as consumers rely more on mobile phones, there is a tipping point where financial and personal protections begin to equal, or outweigh, privacy concerns.
Another slide said:
Remove the consent requirement of stating that information is being released by the ‘carrier.’ Instead, allow more flexible language, such as:—‘You authorize the bank and its service providers to use your mobile account for verifying your identity and protecting you from fraud. Make the release of carrier data opt-out, rather than opt-in, when it is being used to prevent fraud and identity theft.
Zumigo’s angle is that it’s a fraud prevention company that uses location data to figure out if a credit card transaction should be labeled as fraudulent. But the company also wants to profit off the data and use it for marketing, according to CEO Chirag Bakshi.