Following an investigation in which the FCC found carriers broke the law by selling customer location data, the agency is poised to levy significant fines.
It first came to light in 2018 that carriers were selling customer location data to third-party companies that turned around and resold it again, or even gave it away. Privacy advocates and lawmakers alike raised the alarm, especially since it provided a legal loophole around the requirement that carriers be the sole gateway for the government to access such information.
As a result of the outcry, Verizon was the first to stop sharing customer data, with the other three carriers following suit shortly thereafter. Even so, the FCC launched an investigation into the practice, concluding “that one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law.”
Now, according to Reuters, the FCC is expected to announce fines on Friday, with the total amount likely to exceed $200 million. The carriers, of course, may appeal the fines or negotiate to reduce the amount.