FCC to Propose Fining AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile $200M for Sharing Customer Location Data

The United States Federal Communication Commission is expected to propose fining AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint $200 million in total for improperly disclosing real-time customer location data, reports Reuters.

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Proposed fines for the four major carriers in the United States could be announced as soon as tomorrow, and the carriers would have the chance to challenge the fines before they become final. The precise amount each company is fined could change, and could possibly increase.

The FCC in January confirmed that several wireless carriers in the U.S. violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer data that included real-time location information.

Carrier location selling practices were uncovered last year when Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile had been selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies passing the data along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC launched an investigation into the practices after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November 2019 accused the FCC of "failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers' privacy."

Top Rated Comments

ignatius345 Avatar
54 months ago
$200M, divided three ways? This is pennies for these companies. They'll keep doing the same crap until they face real consequences.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpn Avatar
54 months ago
sorry but total USD 200 million is not enough.
s/b about USD 1 billion each.

its about time that legal punitive damages for crimes committed by companies catch up with the 21st century.
make fines that approach bankruptcy level threats if companies engage in such practices.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Arcus Avatar
54 months ago
Here's a novel idea: Skip the fine and make them pay the people they screwed becuase it seems to me the only people who make out are the companies doing the screwing and the governing body who's doing the fining.


Guess who will pay these fines? Their customers.
Quite possibly already did pay.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tylersdad Avatar
54 months ago
Guess who will pay these fines? Their customers.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CE3 Avatar
54 months ago
A light slap on the wrist.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mick-Mac Avatar
54 months ago
and they'll just pass this along to all their customers and we'll end up paying. It'll be done in dribs and drabs over several years, but we'll end up paying...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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