FCC plans to take action over wireless real-time location data disclosures

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FILE PHOTO: Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, speaks at the WSJTECH Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S. October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai said Friday the telecommunications regulator plans to take action against at least one unnamed wireless carrier over the apparent unauthorized sale of real-time location data from users.

The FCC said in May 2018 it was referring reports that a website flaw could have allowed the location of mobile phone customers to be tracked to its enforcement bureau to investigate. Pai said Friday the FCC’s enforcement bureau “has concluded that one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said Friday it was a “shame” it took so long for the FCC to act on reports “shady middlemen could sell your location within a few hundred meters based on your wireless phone data. It’s chilling to consider what a black market could do with this data.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Diane Craft

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