ALARMING

Bounty Hunters Had Access to Customer Location Data From T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T: Report

Around 250 bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and bail agents reportedly had access to real-time location data of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint mobile phone users for years, with one bail bond firm said to have used the data over 18,000 times. According to Motherboard, a now-defunct company called CerCareOne sold location data to paying parties after purchasing data from location aggregators—who gleaned location information from the telecom companies. CerCareOne reportedly sold cell phone tower data and even-more precise GPS data which could pinpoint an individuals' location in a building. The company reportedly made their customers swear to keep their service's existence secret and charged up to “$1,100 per phone location.” According to the website, some bounty hunters also re-sold data to “those unauthorized to handle it.” In comments to Motherboard, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) blasted the telecom companies for what he described as their inaction and dishonesty, calling it “flagrant, willful disregard for the safety and security of Americans.”