Everyone knows that major mobile service providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are actively collecting their customers’ location data, but not many know that they’re also selling it to the highest bidder.As discovered by Motherboard’sJoseph Cox, you can locate anyone as long as you know their phone number and, of course, if you are willing to pay for it.$300 – the price to locate a phone in the U.S.
Jonathan Deveaux, Head of Enterprise Data Protection at Comforte AG:
“With the latest news regarding several US mobile service providers actively collecting and selling location data to the highest bidder, can we actually believe Apple’s statement? Maybe Apple’s statementremains true for some data, but when it comes to the location of the phone, maybe not so much. The emergence of Big Data has enabled mobile service providers to more easily capture, analyze, and monetize what happens on mobile phones. Location data specifically does have some clear benefits for emergency responders, for fraud prevention, and even for roadside assistance. Additional benefits which have been monetized prove to provide huge value to some businesses, such as target marketing for retailers, and the use of location data in customer service situations. But, location data made available for a fee may also open up the potential for malicious acts, such as stalking or theft. The big question is if the mobile service providers said they were going to stop collecting and selling data, but then they continue to do so, what happens next? Especially, since this is not the first time it has been reported and that they said they would stop. From a consumer point of view, I don’t mind if they know when I’m in Vegas, but hopefully not much more!”