Sprint pledges to stop selling customers' location to third parties

Sprint pledges to stop selling customers' location to third parties
© Getty Images

Sprint is the latest mobile carrier to promise to stop selling its customers’ location information to third parties following a report this month that exposed how the industry is trafficking in data.

The company said in a statement that it would end all sales to data aggregators. Sprint said the recent outcry over those practices changed its thinking.

“Last year we decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators, but assessed that the negative impacts to customers for services like roadside assistance and bank fraud alerts/protection that would result required a different approach,” Sprint said in the statement. “We implemented new, more stringent safeguards to help protect customer location data, but as a result of recent events, we have decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The tech news site Motherboard published a story earlier this month detailing how certain professions like bounty hunters are able to procure precise location information through a chain of third-party companies that buy information from carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile.

After an outcry from lawmakers and privacy advocates, T-Mobile and AT&T both pledged to end their partnerships with data aggregators by March.

"It’s a complicated process, but we will work as quickly as possible and end these arrangements in the next several months," a spokeswoman for Sprint said in an email.

— This report was updated at 10:50 a.m.