FCC looks to fine U.S. carriers $200M over improper location data sharing

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.

FCC fine carriers

David Shepardson for Reuters:

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.]


  1. Why not charge them $330 million, then give every person in the U.S. $1 million dollars and immediately stop all welfare programs.

    Since the government is currently spending about $1,163 billion on welfare, that would save us roughly $800 million, which could be invested in national infrastructure–everything from highways to public transportation.

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