When Verizon learned of the Securus issue, it took "immediate steps" to stop the misuse of data, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Verizon announced today it would scale back a program that can expose cell phone location data of millions of customers without their consent.
Wyden documented how law enforcement officers were able to track the real-time location of users without proper documentation.
The practice has drawn criticism from privacy advocates who say users often don't know their data has been sold.
The move by Verizon comes as consumers and lawmakers are increasingly concerned about privacy and security amid data breaches by tech firms, including Facebook Inc. Verizon recently acknowledged that data acquired by two brokers - LocationSmart and Zumigo - allowed about 75 companies to access information about its customers.
Sprint, in a statement to The Verge, confirmed that it would be ending the sale of subscriber location data as well.
Verizon also indicated it would not authorize any new uses of location data, but added it would work to maintain "beneficial services" from location data, such as fraud protection.
LocationSmart said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the letters from the carriers, and denied that it buys and sells location data.
If that response from Verizon is far from satisfying, the letters from AT&T, Spring and T-Mobile to Senator Wyden are worse. On Tuesday, AT&T and Sprint told PCMag that they too were winding down the partnerships with third-party data aggregator companies. That changed in May, when it was revealed that anyone could access real-time location data about any phone in the USA, thanks to LocationSmart. It was, after all, the abuse of this data that sparked the letters in the first place.
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"Verizon deserves credit for taking quick action to protect its customers' privacy and security", Wyden said in a news release. "After my investigation and follow-up reports revealed that middlemen are selling Americans' location to the highest bidder without their consent, or making it available on insecure web portals, Verizon did the responsible thing and promptly announced it was cutting these companies off". "In contrast, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint seem content to keep selling their customers' private information to these shady middle men, Americans' privacy be damned". "The company does not warehouse or track a mobile user's historic identity and location information", said the company. But in the wrong hands, they can allow a hacker to secretly track your location.
"I don't believe that there is anything consumers can do to opt-out of having their location data shared with third-parties like LocationSmart", said Stephanie Lacambra, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an email. Or promise to introduce stronger auditing measures.
The company said that it disabled Securus' access on May 10.
Wyden asked the carriers to identify which third parties have been acquiring carrier location data and to provide details such as any third-party sharing of location data without customer consent. Aggregators could then share location data with their own customers. "We stand by that commitment to our customers".
That response was, presumably, created to reassure people.
The media outlet also reported that AT&T followed suit later in the day.
As for T-Mobile and Sprint, things are still up in the air.