Cell-service companies suspend selling of customer location data following misuse by prison officials

Verizon, AT&T and Sprint will no longer share customers' location information with several third-party companies who failed to handle the data appropriately, the Washington Post reports. The move follows an investigation by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) into the commercial relationships between Verizon; a pair of obscure data vendors, LocationSmart and Zumigo; and those companies' corporate customers.

"Wyden's investigation found that one of Verizon's indirect corporate customers, a prison phone company called Securus, had used Verizon's customer location data in a system that effectively let correctional officers spy on millions of Americans. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission last month highlighting the probe, Wyden said prison officials using Securus's surveillance system could obtain real-time location data on Americans with little more than a 'pinky promise' of propriety, leading to 'activities wholly unrelated' to prison management."

The full article is here.

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