AT&T will stop selling location data amid calls for federal investigation

All you need to track any phone’s location is a small bribe

Motherboard also reached out to Zumigo, the company who sold T-Mobile user data to Microbilt in the first place.

AT&T had already suspended its data-sharing agreements with a number of so-called "location aggregators" past year in light of a congressional probe finding that some of Verizon's location data was being misused by prison officials to spy on innocent Americans.

During the investigation, an undercover reporter handed a bounty hunter $300 in cash and watched as he was able to purchase the precise location of a cellphone with no other information expect for the number. However, the details were identical: it was an approved third party that purchased subscribers' location records from a carrier, and through a chain of organizations, sold that private location data to pretty much anyone willing to pay it: from auto salespeople, stalkers, and property managers to criminals, bounty hunters, and private investigators, potentially. However, we've now learned that a different "Securus" - MicroBilt - has been selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries. "We're shutting it down one by one, making sure consumers who use this for things like health and safety services have a chance to make other arrangements", he tweeted.

"At least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from vehicle salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, according to sources familiar with the company's products and company documents obtained by Motherboard", Cox wrote.

Back in June, Verizon and AT&T wrote a letter to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), saying that they would no longer sell real-time customer location data to third party firms.

Days after a new report came out that show that T-Mobile and other carriers were selling customer location data that could easily be bought and used by bounty hunters to track a phone's location, T-Mobile has said that it's working to end that practice.

All you need to track any phone’s location is a small bribe
[Update: Carriers respond] US carriers under fire for continuing to sell phone location data to third parties

T-Mobile offered a similar promise, as we noted in an update to our story on Tuesday. The partnerships can power services such as bank fraud prevention and emergency roadside assistance in addition to online ads and marketing deals, which depend on knowing your whereabouts. Verizon also said it terminated its relationship with Zumigo, a data aggregator named in the Motherboard report.

Google Fi, which provides service over the T-Mobile and Sprint networks, said it has "never sold Fi subscribers' location information", according to Motherboard. "We have previously stated that we are terminating the agreements we have with third party data aggregators and we are almost finished with that process", the company wrote in a statement.

All of this comes after Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T promised to end its contracts with aggregation companies. "The FCC needs to investigate".

"Wireless carriers are promising, yet again, to stop sharing Americans' location data without their consent".

The FCC did not immediately respond to requests for comment; the agency's operations are limited because of the ongoing government shutdown. "Major carriers pledged to end these practices, but it appears to have been more empty promises to consumers", Wyden said on Twitter.

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