FCC investigates site that let most US mobile phones’ location be exposed

FCC investigates site that let most US mobile phones’ location be exposed

Enlarge / Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), as seen on April 18, 2018. (credit: New America / Flickr)


The Federal Communications Commission has taken preliminary steps to examine the actions of LocationSmart, a southern California company that has suddenly found itself under intense public and government scrutiny for allowing most American cell phones’ locations to be easily accessed.


As Ars reported Thursday, LocationSmart identifies the locations of phones connected to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, often to an accuracy of a few hundred yards, reporter Brian Krebs said. While the firm claims it provides the location-lookup service only for legitimate and authorized purposes, Krebs reported that a demo tool on the LocationSmart website could be used by just about anyone to surreptitiously track the real-time whereabouts of just about anyone else.


"I can confirm the matter has been referred to the Enforcement Bureau," wrote FCC spokesman Neil Grace in a Friday afternoon email to Ars.


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