Location tracking is sensitive business — one loaded with real and perceived risks and injustices. There are global financial services business use cases where location data can be used to help resist fraud — for example: ‘is the customer present for the requested financial transaction?‘ Do so only with explicit customer consent.
Mobile phones constantly communicate with nearby cell phone towers to help telecom providers know where to route given calls and texts. From this, telecom companies also work out the phone’s approximate location.
Telecom companies doing business in the United States sell access to their customers’ location data, primarily to location aggregators. These data aggregators then sell it to others. Despite what carriers want us to believe, location data is not tightly controlled or carefully regulated. It is not.
Telecoms preach that they protect customer data and that location-based services require user’s notice and consent. That is not their behavior.
Carefully vet the use of location data services in your organizations and then carefully limit access to the resulting data. In the long run, to do otherwise is a needless risk of brand damage.
Joseph Cox wrote an article on this topic published last week on MotherBoard. It is worth reviewing to better understand how location services can be misused.
If you already employ these services — review your practices.
I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone.” by Joseph Cox