Verizon to put sticker on all new phones to warn about location tracking

Verizon to put sticker on all new phones to warn about location tracking
In response to a letter sent to Verizon and three other carriers by Representatives Ed Markey and Joe Barton, Verizon has announced that it will be putting a removable warning sticker on all of its new phones. The sticker warns that the phone that it is affixed to can track the users location and can take that information and "associate it" with other location based customer data. In other words, Verizon is warning you that the phone in your hand can take location based data, add to it bits and pieces of other data, and roughly figure out things about you-possibly even your identity.

The sticker's appearance is timely considering that in the past few days there has been finger-pointing between Apple, Google and customers of both companies questioning just what location data is being stored on the iPhone and Android handsets, and whether or not this info is transmitted and used to locate and/or identify users by demographic or perhaps by something more precise. However, considering that the lawmakers first wrote the carriers back on March 29th, the Apple/Android location data battle has nothing to do with the appearance of the sticker.

While other carriers have not taken the steps that Verizon has, they do repeat what Big Red has been saying which is that personal data is stored until it is no longer needed and that customer information is not sold or rented out and customers must consent before location data is acquired. And at least one of the Representatives who started all this with his letter is not placated by Verizon's efforts. Rep. Markey says he still has a "feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty,"  and says that third party developers also must be held "accountable."

source: Engadget


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