Responds to reports of apparent unauthorized sharing of wireless carriers location info

Calling it akin to the Facebook-Analytica third-party data sharing problem, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has called on committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) to hold a hearing on the issue.

That came after a New York Times report that third-party providers Location Smart and Securus appeared to have obtained location information collected in the course of wireless carriers providing cell service.

Pallone wants to know whether that violates the Communications Act requirement that carriers and vendors protect user information and get consent before disclosing it to a third party.

“A hearing on how this information was made available is necessary to better understand whether the privacy protections in the Communications Act were violated and whether Congress needs to take action to ensure users’
data are protected," Pallone told the chairman in a letter dated Thursday (May 24).

Pallone said the reports suggest there are gaps in the law, or its enforcement, that need filling.

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