Verizon Cuts Off Data Brokers From Location Tracking

From PC Mag: Verizon announced today it would scale back a program that can expose cell phone location data of millions of customers without their consent. After some back and forth and a little public shaming courtesy of a US senator, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile pledged to do the same.

The move comes after prison IT firm Securus Technologies was found to be using location data to let police look up cell phone locations without a warrant. Last month, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon sent letters to all four major US wireless carriers, demanding answers about why this sensitive data was in the hands of a third party.

In response, Verizon is cracking down on partners that enabled the abuse by ending its data-sharing agreements with two companies, LocationSmart and Zumigo, which specialize in processing location data from US wireless carriers and letting corporate customers access it.

"Our review of our location aggregator program has led to a number of internal questions about how best to protect our customers' location data," Verizon told Wyden in a June 15 letter.

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