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Cellular Phone Firms Stop Sales of Data- Is this a Set Back for OOH?

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Shut Data Supply

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AT&T, Verizon, Sprint said they are stopping selling data location to third parties.  Many of you have been very thoughtful and sharing this news with us. Most are asking, “How does this affect OOH data?”  Too many to thank here. One ‘thank you’ to all.

After data leak, 3 of 4 US carriers vow to stop selling user location to third parties

We contacted Geopath and asked president Kym Frank for her comments.
“The bottom line is – we are not affected by this at all.”

“The bottom line is – we are not affected by this at all.”

Geopath is all over this. Impressive and quick response.  Proper planning and prepared. Another reason why we are members of Geopath and you should be too.   Here is what our Industry’s measurement leader, Kym Frank had to say.

Hi Brent,

Thanks a bundle for reaching out.  We are actually putting together some official communication for our members in case they are concerned – but this does not impact Geopath in any way.  We made some decisions when we structured our methodology to protect it from the potential of regulatory changes, privacy laws, and the potential for companies to merge or be acquired.  Here’s some context around why these changes specifically have no impact on our data:

The location data resources that feed into Geopath Audience Measurement are curated by our partners at AirSage.  AirSage has worked with mobile carriers and mobile location data companies for more than a decade, which has enabled them to build a diversified resource that can be leveraged to understand aggregate population movement in a precise but responsible way.   In 2017, AirSage also launched a comprehensive GPS data panel including many of the leading location data suppliers today, such as Safegraph. These new sources have greatly enhanced the precision and quality of Geopath’s solution and provided reduced the dependency on any single carrier source.   AirSage maintains its own independent data center that meets all of the carrier requirements for privacy and security, and they have been ahead of the curve in responsible use and processing of location data for years.   They are an experienced location data provider and their approach to handling data is more protective of sensitive information than regulations have proposed as best practices (such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act).  We are proud that we use location data responsibly in an aggregated and anonymous fashion.

In regards to the announcement about the carriers shutting down location data for intermediaries like LocationSmart and Zumigo, that is an entirely different business model for the carriers and unrelated to AirSage.  It doesn’t have any impact on them, and the carrier data that has been used to feed insights into the Geopath solution to date was not and has never been bought on an open market or through intermediaries like LocationSmart or Zumigo. The data was sourced by our partners in a responsible way as described above and consists only of anonymized records that are subject to limited use cases that do not relate to any individual user or PII (personally identifiable information), but rather aggregated insights.

Kym Frank, President
561 Seventh Avenue, 12thFloor
New York, NY 10018



Verizon to stop selling location data




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  1. Jean-Paul S Gedeon says

    wild west of the data land grab is in transition

  2. Bill Board says

    Good observation Jean-Paul. Well framed comment.

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