Verizon and AT&T will stop selling real-time location data of its users

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have stopped selling their customers’ location data

"Chairman Pai's total abandonment of his responsibility to protect Americans' security shows that he can't be trusted to oversee an investigation into the shady companies that he used to represent", Wyden said in a statement Tuesday.

"In contrast, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint seem content to continuing to sell their customers' private information to these shady middle men, Americans' privacy be damned", he said. Rather, it deals with the practice of providing data to third parties with whom users have no direct contact.

In other words, Verizon was simply selling the data, failing to properly audit its use, and companies have been freely trading in user location data as a result.

"This will take some time in order to unwind services to consumers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention services", the company said, but did not provide a specific timeline. He said Zumigo does not let its customers resell the location data - and hopes to renegotiate with the carriers.

The FCC announced an investigation into the LocationSmart leak last month, in the wake of reports about the LocationSmart data leak.

Both carriers will essentially cut out the intermediary for disseminating location data. Only Verizon has pledged to end the sale of location data from its 116 million wireless subscribers through so-called "geolocation aggregators".

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Aggregators must obtain consent from the customer before their location data can be used, such as by sending a one-time text message or allowing a user to hit a button in an app. Securus purchased location information which had been sold by the data broker LocationSmart.

It's also important to note that Verizon said it will terminate its arrangements with data brokers "as soon as possible".

A spokesperson for 3Cinteractive did not respond to a request for comment.

It didn't even place the blame on Securus but the police who were buying data bought from another company bought from another company bought from another company. "We continue to review all customer use to ensure compliance with LocationSmart's terms of user requiring user consent".

Wyden asked the carriers to identify which third parties have been acquiring carrier location data and to provide details such as any third-party sharing of location data without customer consent. Sprint didn't share which firms it works with.

In a letter [PDF] to the lawmaker, the American telco giant said it has "conducted a comprehensive review" of its "location aggregator program" and as a result would kill the agreements it has with the two companies in the program, LocationSmart and Zumigo.

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Analysts say it's hard to gauge the size of the location-tracking aggregation market.

In the interim, Verizon will not authorize any new uses of the location data, she said.

LocationSmart was later forced to pull part of its website offline after a vulnerability allowed a security researcher to obtain real-time location data without obtaining consent from the user.

Analyst Rich Mogull of Arizona-based Securosis said telecom providers track and sell location data as a matter of course.

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the website flaw.

As for T-Mobile and Sprint, things are still up in the air. You can also send PGP email with the fingerprint: 4D0E 92F2 E36A EC51 DAAE 5D97 CB8C 15FA EB6C EEA5.

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