Rosenworcel Seeks Carrier Info on Location Data Aggregators

Senior Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has reached out to major phone companies asking them whether they have ended location aggregation services, as they promised to do by the end of last month.

The FCC has said it is investigating the press reports from a year ago that the companies were selling access to real-time location information to data aggregators and that it had made its way to bounty hunters, among others.

But Rosenworcel said that since it has been almost a year without any details from the FCC or any "public" action to stop it, she needed to step up.

“The FCC needs to do more to protect the privacy and security of American consumers. It needs to do more to provide the public with basic information about what is happening with their real-time location information. That’s why I’m taking steps to ensure for the public that carriers are living up to their commitments to protect their customers’ most sensitive information, because this agency has failed to do so to date.”

The letters were sent to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. At press time, an AT&T spokesman confirmed they had ended the program, saying: "We committed to end the aggregator services in March, which we did.” 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.