Your Cell Carrier Is Tracking You, Hawking Your Data
Data collection by carriers like Verizon raises privacy concerns
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2013 11:23 AM CDT
A manager of the Verizon store in Beachwood, Ohio, holds up an Apple iPhone 4G.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

(Newser) – Just when you thought you couldn't hate cell phone carriers more, they outdo themselves. Turns out, some phone companies are now tracking our locations, movements, and web-browsing habits, and selling the data to marketing companies and other businesses. They say they aren't selling information on individual users, but rather how and where groups of people use their phones. But the news still raises some big privacy concerns for many, the Wall Street Journal reports.

For instance, Verizon is tracking data for Clear Channel's billboard advertising company, measuring how likely someone who drives past a billboard is to then go to that store. It's also being selling data to the Phoenix Suns so the basketball team can increase advertising in areas it's not selling enough tickets. But the ACLU says a bigger fear than advertisers knowing where you're shopping is that carriers will start collecting more and more personal data that they don't actually require, and that information could then be subpoenaed by authorities. "It's the collection that's the scary part, not the business use," says an ACLU privacy specialist.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
793tango
May 27, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
Why I don't have a cell phone....reason #573.
Twiny
May 26, 2013 10:28 PM CDT
Cell carriers invading your privacy is just one of the prices you pay for carrying a smart phone. Me, I carry a Motorola Razr 3vxx, no GPS on board that phone.
WiccanFerret
May 26, 2013 6:43 PM CDT
Surprise! Carry a device with a GPS built in and the big company that controls that device will sell the information provided by said GPS. It's not like there's a law against it, though there probably should be, considering the implications (hacked network making stalking easy, for instance).