Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai refused to brief a Congressional committee Monday about mobile carriers' ability to share their subscribers' location data with third parties.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) asked Pai for an "emergency briefing" to explain why the FCC "has yet to end wireless carriers' unauthorized disclosure of consumers' real-time location data" and for an update on "what actions the FCC has taken to address this issue to date".
Pai's FCC could act, despite the 2017 repeal of the commission's broadband privacy rules. Phone carriers legally must protect "Customer Proprietary Network Information [CPNI]" and the FCC's definition of CPNI includes location data.
However, Pai did not agree with Pallone.
"Today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai refused to brief Energy and Commerce Committee staff on the real-time tracking of cell phone location[s]", Pallone said in a statement yesterday.
"In a phone conversation today, his staff asserted that these egregious actions are not a threat to the safety of human life or property that the FCC will address during the Trump shutdown."