In the wake of this week's Motherboard scoop that the major US carriers sell customers' location data to marketing companies that sell it on to bounty hunters and other unsavory characters, Google has disclosed that they have told the carriers that supply service for its Google Fi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that they expect that Fi customers' data will not be sold this way.
Google Fi hops from one major carrier's network to another as you move through space and ask the networks' congestion levels rise and fall.
I have a Google Fi SIM I use for out-of-country roaming: while I'm not happy with the amount of data Google is likely to be gathering from me while I use the service, I'm also pretty sure that any of the other roaming services I use are just as bad or worse, and Google Fi offers the cheapest and best data-service for roaming US-based customers I've ever encountered. Also, by switching SIMs and numbers when I'm out of the country, I reduce the risk that someone in California will accidentally wake me up in the middle of the night on the opposite side of the world.
"We have never sold Fi subscribers' location information," a Google spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement late on Thursday. "Google Fi is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) and not a carrier, but as soon as we heard about this practice, we required our network partners to shut it down as soon as possible." Google did not say when it made this a requirement.
Google Demanded T-Mobile, Sprint to Not Sell Google Fi Customers' Location Data [Joseph Cox/Motherboard]