WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River), joined by House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders, today sent letters requesting information from six companies about the sale and misuse of cell phone geolocation data.
The letters were sent to Zumingo, Microbilt, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. The letters seek to increase transparency surrounding how U.S. wireless carriers and third parties are accessing, transferring, storing, and securing customer location information.
The letters come as recent media reports have indicated that Zumingo, a location aggregation firm, purchased geolocation data from T-Mobile and subsequently sold the data to Microbilt, which further sold the data to a bail bond company. The letters also build off letters the committee sent last year to location aggregation companies LocationSmart, Securus Technologies, and 3C Interactive.
Walden, who serves as the Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee, was joined by Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), Consumer Protection and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) in signing today’s letters.
Walden and the leaders wrote, “According to a recent Motherboard investigative report, nationwide wireless carriers may be continuing to sell American customers’ real-time location data and information to various third parties without customers’ knowledge and consent. According to the report, Zumigo, a location aggregation firm, purchased geolocation data from T-Mobile, and subsequently sold that data to Microbilt, a third party firm, which further disseminated the geolocation data to another company and intermediary. This practice of selling and sharing of location information through multiple entities potentially impacts hundreds of millions of American customers. We are deeply troubled because it is not the first time we have received reports and information about the sharing of mobile users’ location information involving a number of parties who may have misused personally identifiable information.”
Click here to read the letter to Zumingo.
Click here to read the letter to Microbilt.
Click here to read the letter to T-Mobile.
Click here to read the letter to AT&T.
Click here to read the letter to Sprint.
Click here to read the letter to Verizon.