NATIONWIDE - ATT&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, ATT&T and other carriers pledged to stop providing location information to data brokers. But ATT&T made an exception for useful services that, for instance, help customers with roadside assistance or fraud protection.
In a statement to CBS 13, an ATT&T spokesperson said it would end those sales in March.
Last year we stopped most location aggregation services while maintaining some that protect our customers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention. In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have decided to eliminate all location aggregation services – even those with clear consumer benefits. We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done 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.
In tweets, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said his company will also stop selling location data to outside companies.
Verizon also said it would end its remaining location-sharing agreements, according to the Washington Post.