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T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon slapped with $200M fine — here’s what they illegally did with your data

T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon slapped with $200M fine — here’s what they illegally did with your data

What do AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all have in common?

In addition to being the four major mobile carriers in the US, these companies have also been slapped with millions. Penalties from the FCC.

Why?

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile allegedly provided location data to third parties without their customers' consent, which is illegal.

“Our communications providers have access to some of the most sensitive information about us,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. These carriers failed to protect the information entrusted to them. Here, we're talking about some of the most sensitive data they have: real-time location information about users, showing where they go and who they are.”

FCC fines largest US mobile carrier

According to the FCC, T-Mobile has been fined the most: $80 million. Sprint, which has merged with T-Mobile since the FCC investigation began, also received a $12 million fine.

Mashable Light Speed

AT&T will pay more than $57 million and Verizon will pay close to $47 million.

In total, the four major mobile carriers in the US will pay more than $200 million in fines for sharing sensitive consumer data without their knowledge or consent.

what happened?

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile All Allegedly sold access to its customers' location data to “aggregators.” These aggregators then resell access to other third-party, location-based service providers.

“Each carrier attempted to offload its responsibilities for obtaining customer consent to downstream recipients of location information,” the FCC said, “which meant that any valid customer consent had to be obtained.” Not done.”

The FCC says the four carriers violated laws set out in the Communications Act that require these companies to protect sensitive data, including location information.

The specific case that led the FCC to conduct its preliminary investigation is also mentioned in the FCC's announcement and is certainly troubling.

There was a sheriff of Mississippi. Tracking People's location through their cell phones through a prison communication service company called Securus. Securus was receiving this location data through four major wireless carriers.

This case shows exactly the important role mobile carriers play in protecting our data – and the consequences when they fail to do so. Now, these companies will pay millions in fines thanks to the FCC.

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