Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Tech News

How carriers gather, track and sell your private data

Fascinating and frightening

It is no secret that anyone with a computer is potentially leaking personal data, but little is known by the public about how your personal data is gathered, tracked and sold by your mobile phone carrier. According to the video above by graphic design student Michael Rigley, the average user has 736 pieces of personal data collected every day and service providers store this information for one to five years.

The video explores the “secret life of our MMS data and the tradeoffs we inadvertently face as we choose convenience of communication over privacy and control of personal data,” writes Maria Popova at

The public has no idea how much information they are sharing with their carriers, and even fewer understand that the information is sold to third parties for ungodly sums. Fully 28,000 multi-media (MMS) messages, mostly text messages, are sent every second and information like your number, the receivers number, locations, length of message, duration, date and time are transmitted.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Service providers store the data for various lengths of time as demonstrated in the video above with Verizon storing all data for one year, Sprint for two years, and AT&T an astonishing five years.

“Looking through the glass darkly,” writes Ben Popper at, “Ringley points out this makes customers unwitting participants in a vast case, with their data being sold to the highest bidder, most often to ad networks who can serve targeted ads.”

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.




Tech News

Even if you're taking precautions, you can still have your privacy ruined by online trackers. The web tool, Blacklight, spotlights pesky privacy trackers you...

Social Media

Meta has been in a painstaking four year lawsuit over inappropriate data collection and usage, and more details just emerged.

Business Marketing

Marketers, we know it would be easier for your data analytics to be gathered in one place. Well boy, we have a tool for...

Social Media

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It's often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr,...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.