AT&T to end all location-data sales to data brokers

In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo, people pass an AT&T store in New York's Times Square. AT&T says it will stop selling customer location data to data brokers, as the telecom industry faces backlash that the data has been used improperly. The company says it will eliminate even the kind of selling it calls helpful for consumers. Last year, AT&T pledged to stop providing location information to data brokers. But it kept selling to some services such as those that help with roadside assistance. That will end by March 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

AT&T says it will stop selling all location data from mobile phones to brokers following a report that companies are still selling that information to shadowy companies without customer knowledge.

Last year, AT&T and other carriers pledged to stop providing location information to data brokers. But AT&T made an exception for useful services that, for instance, help customers with roadside assistance or fraud protection. Now the company says it will also end those sales in March.

The move follows a Tuesday report on Vice's Motherboard site that showed how bounty hunters can track phone locations using carrier data.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has been pushing mobile providers to end location-data sales. He said Thursday that Congress needs to pass legislation to ensure they come to a halt.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.