AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon face FCC fines after probe finds they failed to protect user location data

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon are among the telecommunications carriers facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the Federal Communications Commission after a federal investigation found the companies didn't do enough to protect the location data of users. Read the rest

Trump's immigration enforcement agents use cellphone location data to track individuals for detention - WSJ

A commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones is being used by immigration and border authorities to round up undesirable immigrants for detention and deportation. Read the rest

Facebook offers funny answer for why it tracks users’ locations even when they turn tracking services off

Facebook offered a revealing explanation to lawmakers for why it continues to track users’ locations even after those users turn Facebook's location tracking services off. Read the rest

LAWSUIT: Los Angeles accuses Weather Channel app of secretly mining user data

The city attorney for Los Angeles is suing the company behind The Weather Channel and its mobile app, and says the app covertly mined user data. Read the rest

Electric vehicle makers serving up customer location data to China on a silver platter

There's been quite a bit of bad ink surrounding Tesla electric vehicles this year: delays in production, growing rumors about subpar customer service, former employees blowing the whistle on dangerous, indifferent working conditions in Tesla assembly plants and logistical woes to name a few. According to The Washington Post, Tesla owners in China can add in-car state surveillance to the list.

Apparently, the Chinese government has demanded that Tesla vehicles purchased in China send a steady stream of information concerning the vehicle's whereabouts and who knows what else to the Chinese government, in real-time. It's some greasy, invasive bullshit that comes at a time when China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, has been cracking down on dissent, privacy and freedoms in the country.

At the very least, Tesla isn't alone: other makers of electric vehicles are being forced to make their customers' information available to the Chinese government as well.

From The Washington Post:

More than 200 manufacturers, including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and U.S.-listed electric vehicle start-up NIO, transmit position information and dozens of other data points to government-backed monitoring centers, The Associated Press has found. Generally, it happens without car owners’ knowledge.

The automakers say they are merely complying with local laws, which apply only to alternative energy vehicles. Chinese officials say the data is used for analytics to improve public safety, facilitate industrial development and infrastructure planning, and to prevent fraud in subsidy programs.

But other countries that are major markets for electronic vehicles — the United States, Japan, across Europe — do not collect this kind of real-time data.

Read the rest