The ongoing story of the major wireless carriers in the United States sharing user location data has one more chapter: potential major fines.
That’s based on a report from Reuters today, at least. The United States Federal Communications Commission is currently considering major fines against the four major wireless networks in the U.S. — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon — for disclosing customer location data. The FCC is proposing over $200 in fines in total for all four carriers.
The major fines against the networks could be announced by the FCC as soon as tomorrow. And, of course, the companies would have the ability to challenge those fines before they are set in stone and they actually have to fork over the money. The total money owed could change, too.
We first heard that the FCC was taking note of all this back in January, when the commission declared that “at least one” U.S. wireless carrier violated federal law by sharing consumer location data. It looks like the FCC is bundling all four of the major companies together in its latest decision related to fines.
This all ties back to a report from last year, when it was discovered that networks such as Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T were selling user location data to third-party companies like Zumigo, which were then selling off that information to bail bondsmen, bounty hunters, and others.
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out, and just how much money the companies will have to shell out when it all comes to an end.