Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released details about its proposed fines against four wireless carriers for selling consumers’ location information. Earlier today, the Commission announced that T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon sold their customers’ location information to third parties without authorization and without enacting reasonable safeguards to protect against illicit access of that sensitive data.
“The Trump FCC wants you to think it’s protecting your privacy – don’t be fooled,” said Senator Markey. “For almost two years, the FCC has known that companies were selling real-time location information that could reveal where you live and work. This compromise of our trust and personal information isn’t just a creepy, abstract privacy risk, it is a direct threat to consumers’ physical safety and well-being. Instead of meetings its obligation to come down hard on the wireless carriers that are guilty in this case, the FCC dragged its feet and issued penalties that let these companies off easy. If you own a smart phone, information about where you were at any given moment may have been bought and sold. You deserve better than this decision from the FCC.”