All you need to track any phone’s location is a small bribe

A person's hand holding a smartphone that is displaying a map

A person's hand holding a smartphone that is displaying a map

Days after a new report came out that show that T-Mobile and other carriers were selling customer location data that could easily be bought and used by bounty hunters to track a phone's location, T-Mobile has said that it's working to end that practice.

Carriers were pressured into changing their policies past year after it was revealed that prison phone company Securus offers a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds.

Motherboard alleges that by giving a bounty hunter a few hundred dollars and a phone number, they were given the general area of the phone using that number.

Cox explained that this was possible because T-Mobile was partnered with data aggregate company Zumingo, which then sold location data to Microbilt, then to a bail bond company, then to the source who found the phone's location. Motherboard was able to get a price list from Microbilt showing that real-time tracking of a phone can be as little as $12.95.

Sprint and AT&T also issued statement in June vowing to discontinue the practice of selling location data.

AT&T says it will no longer sell your location data to aggregation services.

It's not clear whether Verizon location data can also be purchased in this way.

Didn't know about allegations Manafort shared polling
Since Robert Mueller made this a sticking point in seeking to overturn Manafort's plea deal, the answer thus far seems to be no.

Your phone is essentially a tracker in your pocket, providing pinpoint accuracy on your whereabouts anywhere you take the device. Numerous companies appear to be exploiting this loophole to quietly offer location services for unsanctioned uses on the cheap, or are otherwise contributing unwittingly through their own negligence to a prosperous underground market.

In a tweet, Wyden called T-Mobile and Legere to task for failing to live up to Legere's pledge not "to sell customer location data to shady middlemen".

Today, Wyden said he's disappointed that carriers are apparently still selling location data to data brokers. We have shut down access for MicroBilt as we investigate these allegations, ' the statement continued.

AT&T said in a statement to DailyMail.com on Tuesday: 'We only permit sharing of location when a customer gives permission for cases like fraud prevention or emergency roadside assistance, or when required by law'. Following the reports, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent letters to the four major carriers demanding more information about the practices. "It's time for Congress to take action by passing my bill to safeguard consumer data and hold companies accountable". For its part, T-Mobile told Motherboard it "does not have a direct relationship" with Microbilt, but admitted one with Zumigo.

T-Mobile told Motherboard that it "will not tolerate any misuse of our customers' data".

While they didn't test the other companies, Microbilt's product documentation suggested it would work on AT&T and Verizon as well as T-Mobile.

When reached for comment, T-Mobile directed us to Legere's Twitter feed, where he wrote that the company has "blocked access to device location data for any request submitted by Zumigo on behalf of Microbilt" and that the company is almost finished with the process of "terminating the agreements" it has with third-dfparty data aggregators.

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