Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said Friday that telecomregulators are planning to take action against some wireless carriers over unauthorized sales of their users’ real-time location data,media reported.
The FCC is investigating a May 2018 report that found a website vulnerability that could allow mobile phone users to be tracked. In a letter to Congress on Friday, Pai said the FCC “has concluded that one or more wireless carriers have clearly violated federal law.”
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said Friday that it was “regrettable” that the FCC had taken a long time to act on what she called a “secret broker selling your location based on your wireless phone data.” She added, “It’s really creepy to think about what the black market can do with this data.” “
Att.T. and Sprint declined to comment. Verizon and T-Mobile (TMUS.O) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A trade group representing U.S. wireless carriers said Friday that “after hearing allegations of data misuse, the operator quickly launched an investigation, suspended access to the data, and subsequently terminated the procedures.” “
Last year, lawmakers expressed outrage that information aggregators were able to purchase user data from wireless carriers and “sell location-based services to a wide variety of companies” and that commission agents could get the data.
Pai said he would soon send a formal notice to the five-member FCC committee about the responsibilities of the carriers.
In 2018, a security researcher said technology from a California technology company could track the location of mobile users at AT?amp;T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile without the consent of those users.
In 2018, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden told the FCC that wireless carriers were selling customer location data “to a shady prison phone company” that would allow prison guards to track Americans’ phones. He said on Friday that he was “eager to see if the FCC really takes these wireless companies accountable or gives them a slap in the face.” “