In response to this week's reports on the unauthorized use of data on the location of consumer phones, the House Democrats have moved to request a briefing of emergency personnel with the Federal Communications Commission to assess the progress made in addressing a problem that emerged for the first time eight months ago.
Earlier this week, Motherboard published the results of an undercover investigation, revealing for the first time a black market pipeline for T-Mobile's accumulated phone position data and its main competitors. Data was sold to "location aggregators" that typically provide services to marketing agencies and various emergency services. The report also described how the data, that the forces of the order typically required a mandate to obtain, were offered by a third-party company to bail bond agents, who in turn used it to capture criminals and suspects in case of use. private information that has not been authorized by the telephone companies that collected it.
In a letter to FCC chief Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House, Deputy Frank Pallone Jr., called for an emergency briefing to discuss the legal dilemma , which emerged for the first time in May 201
"Bad actors can use location information to track individuals' physical movements without their knowledge or onsent," read Pallone's letter to Pai. "If recent reports describing the economic, accurate and easy accessibility of real-time position data protected by law are true, we need to work quickly to address these public safety issues, and if we do not, privacy and security of all those who subscribe to wireless telephone services from some carriers – including government officials, military personnel, victims of domestic violence and law enforcement officials – could be compromised. "
Pallone further accused the commission of have "dragged their feet into protecting consumers", saying that the FCC must act immediately to ensure that wireless carriers do not allow "unbridled dissemination of location data in real time". The FCC, the committee chairman said, must also take enforcement action against any telephone company that has violated the rules of the agency "and the trust of its customers."
Following calls from multiple Democratic legislators for investigations into T-Mobile, AT & T and Sprint, stimulated by the motherboard report, each of the cameras hastened to make statements saying that soon they would break all ties with the aggregator companies from which they took advantage for years. A spokesperson for AT & T, for example, said: "In light of the recent reports on the misuse of location services, we have decided to eliminate all aggregation services of the locations", adding: "even those with clear advantages for the consumer. "
Until now Democrats have not been able to exercise any supervision over the FCP of the Trump administration. This changed this month when the party took control of the House of Representatives. The agency is getting ready to be bombarded with questions from the Democrats, which Pai has largely ignored for the past two years.
The FCC is among the agencies that have been significantly affected by the closure of the government. All business before the agency was stopped, except for what is considered necessary for "the protection of life and property".
Read the complete letter from Balloon here.