Cell Phone Company Selling All Its Data to Track Customers

UK cell company sells their entire database of customer movements to analytic firm.

Analytics firm claims they’ve already used this data to “understand not only where people are going, but what they have been doing before, during and after they visited these various locations.”

Analytics firm proceeds to offer this data up to London’s Metropolitan Police… but only for a fee.

Caught in flagrante delicto by the press, the bobbies recoil and snap their wallets shut, and the analytics firm says “but but the data was all anonymized!”

As we all know, there’s no such thing as anonymized data, especially after that one researcher proved just two or three points on — yep — a cell location dataset was enough to de-anonymize almost anyone.

My suggestion?

Faraday cage pouch or pocket. Keep cell phone caged when not in use.

Less secure but easier: Take a bit of tape, fold it over so half its length is non-sticky, and stick the thing to your dumb phone’s battery. Not just anywhere on the battery. Place it so the non-sticky bit can fold down and cover the battery’s contacts. When not in use, pull the battery and replace it so the phone gets no juice.


“EE has been accused of selling customers’ personal data to an analytics firm, which in turn looked to sell it on to the Met Police for tracking purposes, according to The Sunday Times.

The report alleges that the data passed on to Ipsos MORI included gender and age information, users’ postcodes, as well as information on when and to whom calls were made, plus web and app use details – and would be able to track a user’s location within 100 metres. “

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