Verizon will reportedly become the first major U.S. wireless carrier to end the practice of selling location data from its devices to third-party brokers.
But the company will not stop sharing that data entirely, the Associated Press reported.
In response to an inquiry from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Verizon recently acknowledged that data acquired by two brokers — LocationSmart and Zumigo — allowed about 75 companies to access information about its customers.
Karen Zacharia, the carrier’s chief privacy officer, wrote in a letter to Wyden that Verizon planned to “terminate their ability to access and use our customers’ location data as soon as possible.”
Verizon also indicated it would not authorize any new uses of location data, but added it would work to maintain “beneficial services” from location data, such as fraud protection.
Critics argue that data location sales to third parties allow outside companies to access wireless customers’ data without their knowledge.
LocationSmart, in particular, drew headlines last month after a researcher discovered a website flaw that could have enabled anyone to access location data for devices on all four major carriers.
“Verizon did the responsible thing and promptly announced it was cutting these companies off,” Wyden said in a statement.
Wyden criticized the responses of the other major carriers to his inquiry, but AT&T told the AP Tuesday that it would also end its sales of location data to brokers.