The head of the Federal Communications Commission has called for an investigation into whether U.S. mobile carriers are complying with FCC geolocation data regulations.
According to a Thursday (Aug. 25) news release from the FCC, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is asking the commission’s enforcement bureau to look into mobile companies’ compliance with FCC rules that require carriers to inform consumers about how they use and share the geolocation data.
“Our mobile phones know a lot about us,” said Rosenworcel. “That means carriers know who we are, who we call, and where we are at any given moment. This information and geolocation data is really sensitive. It’s a record of where we’ve been and who we are. That’s why the FCC is taking steps to ensure this data is protected.”
The FCC’s announcement came as it published responses from 15 of the country’s largest mobile carriers about their data retention and data privacy practices and policies.
Rosenworcel also said the FCC had made it easier for consumers to file complaints about how their mobile providers handle their data, allowing them to directly file privacy complaints or share concerns on the commission website.
The FCC isn’t the only federal agency showing an interest in geolocation data. Last month, PYMNTS reported that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was taking a closer look at the geolocation data stored in vehicle navigation systems.
“There was a very famous study done, maybe a decade ago, where a university determined that you just need four points on a map with a timestamp to identify 90% of the U.S. population,” Andrea Amico, CEO of Privacy4Cars, told PYMNTS. “That’s why the FTC is looking at geolocation very intently right now.”
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