Selling 911 Location Data Is Illegal, US Telecom Giants Did It Anyway

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, three of the four major wireless carriers reportedly broke the law by selling 911 location data to third parties in the US.

A Motherboard investigation found that T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T were still selling people’s location data to third parties after pledging to stop in June 2018.

“Telecom giants broke the law by selling detailed location data,” which is “meant for use only by emergency services,” consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge said last week in a blog post urging the FCC to punish the companies.

Public Knowledge’s comments came in response to the Motherboard article that showed these companies are still collecting and selling people’s location data to third parties.

According to the article, “The documents also show that telecom companies sold data intended to be used by 911 operators and first responders to data aggregators, who sold it to bounty hunters. The data was in some cases so accurate that a user could be tracked to specific spots inside a building.”



Photo: “Misfortune fire” by gintheemt is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0