Google Demanded T-Mobile, Sprint To Not Sell Google Fi Customers’ Location Data

According to an article in Slashdot:

On Thursday, AT&T announced it was stopping the sale of its customers’ real-time location data to all third parties, in response to a Motherboard investigation showing how data from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint trickled down through a complex network of companies until eventually landing the hands of bounty hunters and people unauthorized to handle it. To verify the existence of this trade, Motherboard paid $300 on the black market to successfully locate a phone.

Google, whose Google Fi program offers phone, text, and data services that use T-Mobile and Sprint network infrastructure in the United States, told Motherboard that it asked those companies to not share its customers’ location data with third parties. “We have never sold Fi subscribers’ location information,” a Google spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement late on Thursday. “Google Fi is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) and not a carrier, but as soon as we heard about this practice, we required our network partners to shut it down as soon as possible.

Comment: I have a Google Fi cell phone and love it. Not only does Google Fi’s monthly service cost less than half of what my previous cell phone provider (AT&T) charged, Google Fi has better coverage and also works in more than 170 countries with no roaming fees. That’s important to me as I travel internationally a lot. (I am leaving for Bangkok, Thailand in a few days and will be able to use my cell phone as much as I want on that trip without being charged any outrageous roaming fees.)

You can see the details about the lack of roaming fees at: http://bit.ly/2VNXtuP.

I am also delighted to learn of this latest effort by Google Fi to protect the privacy of its customers.

The only major downside of Google Fi is it works only on a limited number of cell phones. See https://fi.google.com/about/phones/ for a list of compatible phones. Prices vary from $199 US to $749 US for the phones. Admittedly, all of them are “high end” phones. Monthly payments are available.

You can learn more about Google Fi at https://fi.google.com (or go to my referral link at https://g.co/fi/r/HDD3UK to obtain a $20 credit on your first Google Fi monthly bill).

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