Cybersecurity » Your Location Data, Bought And Sold

Your Location Data, Bought And Sold

May 21, 2018

A dramatic event in an industry many people weren’t aware of – the buying and selling of cell phone user location data – occurred last week, when security investigator and blogger Brian Krebs contacted LocationSmart to let them know about an alarming bug on their website. Never mind buying and selling: This glitch would allow someone without a password or authorization to obtain “the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the United States to an accuracy of within a few hundred yards.” (LocationSmart is said to have quickly taken that function offline.) Krebs surveys the landscape of this no longer nascent industry and details a spate of revelations that have surfaced in recent weeks, and what politicians, industry watchdogs, and the cell phone carriers themselves have said in response.

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