US telcos admit to storing, handing over location data

US mobile carriers know a lot about where their customers every move, and according to letters sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they routinely store such location data for years, willingly hand it over to law enforcement if served a proper subpoena, and say users can’t opt out.

FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a missive published last week that the 15 largest mobile carriers in America responded to letters sent to them in July demanding answers on their data retention and sharing policies. This includes data tracking the movement of people via their devices.

“Carriers know who we are, who we call, and where we are at any given moment,” Rosenworcel said. “That data is a sensitive record of not only a person’s travel, but also their identity, she added, which is “why the FCC is taking steps to ensure this data is protected.”

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Source: The Register