An inquiry has gone up from senators in the US calling for the investigation of phone companies selling location data. This information is about phone companies such as T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T.
This call revealed that even after the phone companies in the US promised that they would stop selling it, they continued to do same. In view of this, several federal lawmakers are demanding that Federal Communications Commission investigate these companies after getting a lead through Motherboard story which came out yesterday that major mobile carriers were still secretly selling customer location data to third parties. In turn , the buyers would offer sensitive information to shady buyers.
It is true that your phone can reveal everywhere you go even though you may not know about it. Cell towers and GPS data provide almost accurate information about where you may be from time to time. Even law enforcement agencies rely on it to build cases. But abusive stalkers use it too.
In the days when privacy issues have affected tech companies like Google Facebook, it is possible for people to opt out of those places. But opting out may not be easy for you when you make use of a mobile phone. With phone location data tracking, there may not be many options to opt out of getting tracked other than not having a device. For most of us, however, we can throw away our phones.
It is not that people don’t care about their privacy, although some are saying that. It is that customers and policymakers have not been taking the care to know what was going on. They have been kept in the dark for years about data collection and commercialization practices.
Right now, senators are calling for regulation to ensure that companies are upfront with customers about how their data will be used and sold.
At the present time, several lawyers have drafted privacy legislation that would include a “Do Not Track” database, allowing Americans to opt out of data tracking.
LocationSmart, a company that provided geolocation data on nearly any phone in the US was investigated last year.