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T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers’ Location Data

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Joseph Cox, writing for Motherboard:

    Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones in the United States.

    The bounty hunter sent the number to his own contact, who would track the phone. The contact responded with a screenshot of Google Maps, containing a blue circle indicating the phone’s current location, approximate to a few hundred metres.

    The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone’s whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.

    Holy shit. This is outrageous.

    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  2. heymattrick

    Denver, CO

    I work for the corporate office of a major restaurant chain, and I've sat in marketing presentations from 3rd party companies we work with about how they use location data to "ping" ads to get a consumer to visit, how credit card data is used to track purchasing patterns to specifically market to them, and all sorts of similar sketchy stuff. I don't know if I'm more or less offended that they justify it by explaining all the other major chains do this as well.
    mercury and Raku like this.