Uh oh. It looks like the major four wireless carriers in the country are about to be fined big time.
According to reports, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to hit AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile a fine of at least $200 million in total. This is for selling the location data of their customers. The report says that the carriers have been given a chance to challenge the fines before it becomes final. But there is a chance that the final amount ends up higher than the $200 million number.
These four carriers have been discovered to have major issues dealing with customer location in the last two years. The scuffle was first discovered in May 2018 when a company called LocationSmart gave anyone the location of the cellphone owned by another person. There were even reports that the location was able to pinpoint the exact coordinates of a phone located just 100 yards from them.
In January 2019, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint were discovered to have been selling this data to aggregators, who were making this information available to others. There was even a bounty hunter who sold the location info of a T-Mobile customer for only $300. This information came complete with the approximate longitude and latitude and a Google Maps screenshot.
Ever since news about this practice broke, the major carriers have stopped working with location aggregators. This, however, did not stop the FCC from planning sanctions for the carriers involved after they were found guilty of violating the law.
The FCC is expected to make an official announcement about the fines by tomorrow.
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