by Hamza Shaban and Brian Fung, The Inquirer
AT&T said last week that it will stop selling its customers’ location data to third-party service providers after a report said the information was winding up in the wrong hands.
The announcement follows sharp demands by federal lawmakers for an investigation into the alleged misuse of data, which came to light when Motherboard revealed a complex chain of unauthorized information sharing that ended with a bounty hunter successfully tracking down a reporter’s device.
AT&T had already suspended its data-sharing agreements with a number of so-called “location aggregators” last 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. AT&T also said at the time that it would be maintaining those of its agreements that provided clear consumer benefits, such as location sharing for roadside assistance services.
But AT&T’s announcement Thursday goes much further, pledging to terminate all of the remaining deals it had — even the ones that it said were actively helpful.
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