FCC Asks Carmakers, Carriers How Customers Are Tracked

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Available geolocation data at the center of domestic violence…

The Federal Communications Commission is asking the largest automakers and wireless carriers how they retain, share, or sell drivers’ location data collected on apps, devices and vehicles.  In letters to both automakers and carriers, the FCC said it was trying to protect survivors of domestic violence violence and abuse through the Safe Connections Act.

The federal agency contends the survivors are being stalked by their abusers through connected devices and location technology available in vehicles and smartphones.  “No survivor of domestic violence and abuse should have to choose between giving up their car and allowing themselves to be stalked and harmed by those who can access its data and connectivity,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a statement. “We must do everything we can to help survivors stay safe. We need to work with auto and wireless industry leaders to find solutions.”

The FCC is asking carriers and automakers what they do with location information (Photo: Mercedes-Benz).

The FCC recently adopted new rules, under the Safe Connections Act, to help survivors receive “separate service lines from accounts that include their abusers, protect the privacy of calls made by survivors to domestic abuse hotlines, and support survivors who suffer from financial hardship,” the agency said.  However, it is not known how the agency plans to proceed with information received from the companies.

Letters were send to the CEOs of Verizon VZ 2.42%↑T-Mobile TMUS -2.06%↓ and AT&T 3.81%↑.  Automakers receiving the letters include Ford 3.66%↑General Motors GM 1.53%↑Tesla TSLA -6.43%↓ and the U.S. divisions of HondaHyundaiMercedes-BenzNissanStellantis and Toyota.


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