AT&T Sued for Selling Sensitive Customer Information


Recently, AT&T was sued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for selling users location data to third parties.

The proposed class action suit was filed recently, on behalf of AT&T customers in California. Moreover, the suit mentioned two other companies, LocationSmart and Zumigo, which had the roles of data aggregators by collecting location information and selling it to third parties.
“AT&T has knowingly breached its duties to protect Plaintiffs’ sensitive location data in order to profit from it,” the suit reads.

The suit is based on recent investigations on how AT&T and other wireless carriers share private data. Last year, a New York Times article revealed that law enforcement has abusively used the data to track devices.
Earlier this year, another investigation carried out by Motherboard, paid a bounty hunter $300 to track the location of a phone using the data.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing alongside the law firm Pierce Bainbridge, and argues that the customers didn’t authorize that the data from tracking emergency calls could be used commercially. They called AT&T’s practices “outrageous and harmful,” and highlighted that the sale of location data could have potentially exposed the personal information to dangerous people, such as stalkers.

Therefore, AT&T failed to secure sensitive customer information and misrepresented its privacy protections to customers.

“The facts don’t support this lawsuit, and we will fight it,” an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement. “Location-based services like roadside assistance, fraud protection, and medical device alerts have clear and even life-saving benefits. We only share location data with customer consent. We stopped sharing location data with aggregators after reports of misuse.”

The suit suggests a class of plaintiffs of AT&T customers living in California since 2011, and identify damages for millions of customers.

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