The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed it voted to propose fining four major U.S. wireless carriers over $200 million for selling access to their customers’ location information without consent.
T-Mobile faces a fine of more than $91 million. AT&T faces a fine of more than $57 million. Verizon faces a fine of more than $48 million. Sprint faces a fine of more than $12 million.
The FCC also admonished these carriers for apparently disclosing their customers’ location information, without their authorization, to a third party.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau opened this investigation following public reports that a Missouri Sheriff, Cory Hutcheson, used a location-finding service operated by Securus, a provider of communications services to correctional facilities, to access the location information of the wireless carriers’ customers without their consent between 2014 and 2017.
All four carriers sold access to their customers’ location information to aggregators, who then resold access to such information to third-party location-based service providers like Securus.
The telecom operators will get to challenge the proposed fines before they can become final.