February 28, 2020

FCC seeks to enforce location data violations against wireless carriers

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed fining the four largest wireless providers based on allegations that the providers were selling access to their customers’ location information and failing to take steps to protect against unauthorized use of the data.  The FCC concluded that these activities violated the requirements in 47 USC  §151 and relevant FCC rules designed to protect customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”).  The specific proposed penalty for each provider was explained by the FCC as a function of the length of time during which the company apparently sold access to its customer’s location data and the number of entities to which the data was apparently sold:  T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of over $91 million; AT&T $57 million; Verizon $48 million, and Sprint $12 million.  The companies will have a chance to respond to the FCC’s Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Admonishment prior to further action or the imposition of the proposed monetary penalties.

FCC press release | AT&T NAL | Sprint NAL | T-Mobile NAL | Verizon NAL