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Wireless Carriers: We Get Users' Consent Before Using Location Data

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WASHINGTON -- The nation's four largest wireless carriers say they obtain customer permission before using a subscriber's physical location to provide driving directions, family-locator applications and other location-based services, and before sharing a subscriber's location with any outside mobile apps that provide such services.

But in letters to Congress released Thursday, the wireless companies also say they have no power to require independent developers of location-based apps to get similar user consent if these apps don't rely on the carriers themselves to acquire location data.

The letters from the four carriers – AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA – were released one day after Apple admitted that its popular iPhone stores data used to help the device locate itself for up to a year.

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