FCC fines wireless carriers

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T-Mobile received the biggest fine of $80 million, along with a $12 million fine for its subsidiary, Sprint, that the company acquired in 2020. AT&T was fined more than $57 million and Verizon was fined almost $7 million, according to the agency’s announcement. 

The fines follow initial allegations by the FCC in 2020 under the Trump administration of wireless carriers violating laws by not protecting users’ location data.  

The mobile carriers pushed back on the allegations and said they intend to challenge the fine.  

The FCC said the agency’s enforcement bureau’s investigation into the carriers found that each of them sold access to their customers location information to “aggregators” that went on to resell access to the information to third-party location-based service providers. 

The FCC said the carriers “attempted to offload” their obligation to obtain customer consent to others, which led to not obtaining customer consent.  

Mobile carriers are legally required to take reasonable measures to protect certain customer information, including location information, according to the FCC.  

The FCC said the “initial failure” compounded when the carriers continued to sell access to location information without taking reasonable measures to protect it after they were made aware that safeguards were ineffective.

Read more in a full report at TheHill.com

This post was originally published on The Hill

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