The Black Market for Black People’s Phone Data

Joe Kukura SAVE THIS


In a recent New York Times article, Geoffrey Starks, one of the members of the Federal Communications Commission, made a thought-provoking point about wireless phone carriers’ rampant selling of customer data to shady third parties.

“The misuse of this data is downright dangerous,” wrote Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. “The harms fall disproportionately upon people of color.”

Starks is African American and a lifelong Democrat, who was once a staff member at the Illinois state Senate (overlapping with then-senator Barack Obama). He described a chilling arrangement where smartphone service providers sell our location data to companies we’ve never heard of, perpetuating surveillance-based digital discrimination against Black and Brown communities.

Bounty hunters do still exist, though these days they prefer to be called “bail enforcement agents,” doing the dirty work for an unfair bail system with a proven racial bias. Starks’ article is entitled “Why It’s So Easy for a Bounty Hunter…

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One comment

  • DDunningsBlog

    This article although heartbreaking, made for an amazing piece!

    Thank you for shedding light on the topic – I literally had no idea about it!

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