The Federal Communication Commission is set to act against cellular carriers regarding the location data sharing issue very soon. New York Times reports the commission is planning to charge fines about $200 million from those who violated the rules regarding location data. If passed officially, this will be the first major decision taken by FCC regarding location privacy issues.

A major move against carriers

As New York Times reported, three anonymous officials concerned with the issues has told about FCC’s plan. The committee may announce this officially if the proposal is passed, which seems sure based on the majority of approval votes being with the commission.

Phone Carriers May Be Fined $200 Million for Selling Users Location
Phone Carriers May Be Fined $200 Million for Selling Users Location (Image via Pxhere)

This will be the first action against location sharing issue and a major one in this decade if official. Yet, a fine if $200 million isn’t enough for Congress critics and privacy advocates, who expected the action to be more severe.

Privacy tracking!

For long, carriers as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have been sharing the users’ live location to third-party firms for tracking and marketing. Though the lumpsum fines are anticipated, these carriers will still have a chance to fight against the bill, as it isn’t passed yet.

FCC has started an investigation when the Times reported about the relations these carriers and location aggregators are having. And the data flows from carriers to aggregators and eventually to law enforcement agencies in some cases, where an unauthorized person alleged to be using it for tracking people without a warrant!

After all such complaints, the FCC has ended an investigation last month and is set to make a decision now. Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic commissioner at the FCC said,

“It puts the safety and privacy of every American with a wireless phone at risk.” Of course, it is. Tracking the live location of millions of users is intimidating.

Via: New York Times


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