All four major U.S. carriers face class action lawsuit for selling your location data

Last Thursday, lawyers from Z LAW filed lawsuits against AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for selling the location data of its customers.

The lawsuit comes after investigations from the past year made by Motherboard and the New York Times that showed third parties were able to purchase real-time location data of customers from the big four U.S. carriers.

The lawsuit focuses on all four carriers for making your location data available to a Securus, a company that allows low-level law enforcement to access your location without a warrant. Separate complaints have been made against AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint for allowing other third parties to purchase the data, which eventually ended up in the hands of bounty hunters or others.

The class action lawsuit covers 100 million customers from AT&T and 100 million from Verizon, as well as 50 million for Sprint and another 50 million T-Mobile between the dates of April 30, 2015, and February 15, 2019.

This lawsuit will determine if the carriers violated section 222 of the Federal Communications Act by allowing unauthorized third parties to access the plaintiffs' and class members' confidential proprietary information (CPI) and customer proprietary network information (CPNI).

The lawsuit is currently seeking unspecified damages that will be determined at trial. When contacted by Motherboard about the lawsuit, Sprint and T-Mobile had no comment, while AT&T and Verizon did not immediately respond.

Privacy is becoming harder and harder to come by in an always-connected world. Last month, we found out police were using Google Maps Timeline to collect information for cases. However, just last week, Google improved its privacy controls by allowing you to auto-delete your history every 3 or 18 months. Although that won't help keep you safe if your carrier is the one selling you out, progress is being made to make sure people feel safe about their data.

How to clear search and location history in Google Maps on Android

5 Comments
  • BRAVO to the investigators!
  • New fee coming in 3.....2...............
  • Sounds reasonable that folks are pissed about this. However, it's kind of funny that Android Central is harping on this. I disabled Googles ability to send me customized ads years ago and disabled Google from storing any location data or web activity. Yet, one of the only apps that kept showing me location related advertisements was Android Central. I imagine that whatever ad network AC uses was accessing this very data. I can't prove it nor am I seriously upset about that I just found it interesting that AC kept showing me location based ads when I don't think any other app on my Galaxy S8 was. It's also possible that AC ad network was getting the info elsewhere. I have noticed that every since Verizon said they were going to stop selling my location data the AC location data ads have stopped.
  • Lol you believed Verizon would stop selling your location info?
  • Good. And Congress needs to enact laws for consumer privacy with carriers. This is getting out of hand.