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FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed fines against the country's four largest wireless carriers for apparently selling access to their customers' location information without taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to that information. According to the release issued on Friday, "T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million; AT&T faces a proposed fine of more than $57 million; Verizon faces a proposed fine of more than $48 million; and Sprint faces a proposed fine of more than $12 million." FCC has also charged the carriers for allegedly disclosing their customers' location information, without their authorization, to a third party.

"The size of the proposed fines for the four wireless carriers differs based on the length of time each carrier apparently continued to sell access to its customer location information without reasonable safeguards and the number of entities to which each carrier continued to sell such access."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: "American consumers take their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And information about a wireless customer's location is highly personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers' personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don't. Today, we do just that."

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