The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to propose fining four major U.S. carriers at least $200 million in total for improperly disclosing some consumer real-time location data, two people briefed on the matter said on Thursday, Reuters is reporting.
The FCC is expected to announce the proposed fines on AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Sprint Corp, and T-Mobile US Inc by Friday. The companies will be able to challenge the fines before they become final and the precise amount could change – and possibly increase – the sources said.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed in January that “one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law.”
Lawmakers last year expressed outrage that aggregators were able to buy user data from wireless carriers and “selling location-based services to a wide variety of companies” and others, including bounty hunters.
MacDailyNews Take: The FFC’s fine of $200 million — split four ways, no less — is not even a slap on the wrist for these carriers. They probably made more than that by peddling our location data to God only knows who. Plus, we’re going to be the ones who pay the fines in the end anyway (so, maybe we should be glad it’s not more).
Regardless, in the interest of propriety, U.S. citizens, let your congressperson know that $200 million is not enough of a penalty for privacy invasion: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]