The new President of the House Energy and Trade Committee requests an emergency communication from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its mobile wireless industry oversight following a report on how mobile operators share their users' location data.  Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. Frank Joseph PalloneDems hit the GOP on healthcare with additional ObamaCare trial vote Democrats seeking early victories on drug prices Democrats demanding response to Trump's short-term insurance plans MORE (DN.J.) Wrote to FCC President Ajit Pai who said that briefing was necessary as soon as possible, even though the agency is not operating due to the end of the government.
"This briefing explains why the Federal Communications Commission has not yet completed wireless carriers' unauthorized disclosure of consumer real-time placement and what actions the FCC has taken to address this problem to date," Pallone wrote in his letter.
"An emergency information form is needed for public security and national security and therefore cannot wait for President Trump decides to reopen government. "
The request comes after tech news outlet Motherboard released this week a report detailing how easy it is for precise location data from particular carriers to be purchased and sold.
The site provided $ 300 and a bounty hunter phone number, which could then track the location of a T-Mobile user within a few hundred meters.
Bounty Hunter did so by purchasing the location data from a company called Microbilt, which had been obtained from a third-party placement aggregator, which in turn had received it from T-Mobile.
T-Mobile responded by promising to close all data transfer to Microbilt from third party, Zumigo, and reiterated its promise to terminate all such data exchange agreements by March.
AT & T also promised this week to close such partnerships, and Sprint said it was cut off data access to Zumigo and Microbilt.
Verizon says it has terminated all third-party placement aggregation agreements apart from a handful of road assistance companies.
But on Friday, Pallone said "the public can no longer rely on their voluntary promises to protect this highly sensitive information," especially after the industry went through a similar scandal last year.
"The FCC must take immediate action to ensure that no wireless operators allow for the violent disclosure of real-time location data and take enforcement action against airlines that violated the Commission's rules and their customers' trust."
The FCC has not responded to pressures due to shutdown.