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Was my location being sold to marketers and bounty hunters?

A recent Motherboard report revealed that companies, including those used by Ting, were selling users' location data to all-comers. As a MVNO Google Fi has objected; has Ting followed?

Joseph Reagle

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Hey Joseph,

This is definitely something we do take seriously as we've been quite up front for years about our desire to protect user privacy. In fact, we lobby, agitate, and educate to promote and protect an open Internet around the world.

If you're interested check out the blog post we did on the subject or see what our CEO has to say about the information shared with our MNOs and how we ensure it is as limited as possible.

Christian Robinette 0 votes
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Thank you for the pointers, those statements, especially the first, are a bit opaque. I would encourage you to be explicit and transparent about how the big four can use the data, even if you do not, and to be more public in your advocacy.

Joseph Reagle 0 votes
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The difference with us is that the MNOs aren't provided any data about who the user is. In our wholesale deal, we pay for the usage and they are able to see where data is used but not by whom. We cannot control what they do with the limited amount of data they do have about you, including the sale of it. Rest assured, we are monitoring this situation closely.

We also had this come up quite a bit in our recent ask an exec post so it may be something that will be addressed once we put together the answers video. 

We don't take net neutrality or privacy lightly so we do hope the Motherboard report leads to clearer guidelines for things like the privacy of mobile data, especially when you consider the Vice reporting of location data within a few hundred feet.

Christian Robinette 0 votes
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Again, thanks for the quick response. I appreciate you don't share your subscriber data, but I understand they have the phone number. If they have that, it's not hard to get personally identifiable data.

Joseph Reagle 0 votes