T-Mobile & Sprint promise user location data sharing will soon stop

Posted: , by Joshua Swingle Joshua Swingle

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T-Mobile & Sprint promise user location data sharing will soon stop
Following a story published earlier this week by Motherboard which shed a light on US carrier practices regarding the sale of user location data, T-Mobile and Sprint have today announced that they are in the process of revoking third-party access to this data.

In a statement to The Verge, a Sprint spokesperson said that it will no longer “knowingly share personally identifiable” location data, the only exception to this rule being legal requests. Similarly, T-Mobile confirmed that it’s in the process of revoking access to all third parties, with CEO John Legere stating on Twitter that the practice “will end in March” without impacting customers that use the services for emergency assistance.

The two carriers, which are currently in the process of merging, also confirmed that Microbilt will no longer have access to their location data. Additionally, Sprint has notified Zumigo that its contract will be terminated immediately due to a violation of the carrier’s privacy policies.

For those of you that may be unaware, the two companies mentioned above were named in Motherboard’s report. More specifically, the bounty hunter hired by the publication was able to track location data through location-tracking service Microbilt, who itself obtained the data from Zumigo.

Previously, all four major carriers had promised to end location data sharing. But in a recent tweet by Senator Ron Wyden, the pledges were branded “empty promises to customers.”

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