FCC Investigation Reveals Wireless Carriers Shared Location Data Of Users


FCC investigation on wireless carriers' unauthorized disclosure and selling of real-time location data has concluded. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who led the nearly two-year-long investigation, shared letters with the House of Representatives. It's been gathered that one or more wireless carriers broke the law by sharing the real-time location of users.

FCC Investigation Reveals Wireless Carriers Shared Location Data


Telecos Violating Laws

The letters shared with the lawmakers have concluded the extensive probe. Pai has also promised the lawmakers that FCC is going to take action against the offending carriers. He hopes that this ensures that all the telcos comply with the law that protects user's sensitive data.

It began in 2018 when it came to light that a couple of wireless carriers were selling customers' real-time location data to various aggregators. The aggregators further resold it to other companies and third-parties as a business. Moreover, it was also reported that bounty hunters and bail bond companies have been buying user-location data for years now.

As the investigation began unfolding, four major US wireless carriers assured to stop selling the location data to aggregators. Although they took a year to keep their word, the carriers have stopped selling data. When an update was requested by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in 2019, it was reported that all the carriers had halted selling location data.

FCC investigation

In the latest letter by Ajit Pai, there's no indication which carriers have violated the law. There's also no mention of the number of carriers, but he has promised that a detailed report would be furnished in the coming days. For now, FCC has declined to comment on the investigation, Reuters reports.


It's a usual practice to maintain confidentiality until a potential liability can be determined by the entire commission. Most likely, the settlement discussions are already underway with the carriers who have violated the law.

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