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US Telecommunications Companies Reveal Locations Of Smartphones

AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint sell access to the current location of each device. A legal ban had been lifted before it became legal.

US mobile operators AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are spoiling the privacy of their customers. The network operators grant other companies access to the current location of all devices registered in the mobile network. These companies sell this information to third parties, leaving a black market for private surveillance in the US.

Through this black market, Motherboard journalists have been able to investigate the location of a cell phone. Although they had to pay 300 US dollars for it, there also is a regular market for it. One of the providers cost less than five dollars.

Also offered was the ongoing tracking of cell phones, with live updates on location changes. That should cost between $8 and $13 dollars. The price includes various data from the customer account. It sems the provider also had access to this information.

Legal Business Model

AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint do not deny that they are selling their customers location data. Because this business is not Illegal in the US. Although the FCC had issued US President Barack Obama’s data protection regulations shortly before the end of the term. But i got repealed by the US Parliament.

According to AT&T, the location of customers is only permitted with their consent. Otherwise, the respective tracking provider violates his contract with AT&T.

Sprint submitted motherboard phrases about the importance of privacy. T-Mobile said that it had blocked the access of the third party on which the journalists had tracked down a T-Mobile cell phone.

T-Mobile, as well as Verizon, announced last June that they wanted to abandon this questionable business.

Great demand

But also financial institutions, insurance companies and many other companies like to buy the current locations of unsuspecting mobile users. Authorities and prison operators have also been caught locating people.