Using mobile device location data is not new–it's always been used by wireless carriers to provide mobile service. For our mobile communications service to work, we must keep track of the approximate location of all mobile devices on our network. This is how we route wireless communications, like calls and text messages, to and from devices even as they are moving. It’s also how we can deliver approximate device location information to emergency officials who respond to 911 calls made from a mobile device.
But location data can also be used to provide app or website services—such as driving directions, store locators, or ride shares. These are often referred to as Location-Based Services (LBS). Although T-Mobile may sometimes provide these services, they are commonly provided by third parties. We do not share network location data with third-party LBS providers. Instead, those LBS providers generally use your device operating system’s location capabilities to support LBS. These location capabilities may use a combination of the device’s Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), which we may assist from our network, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi, cell tower location databases, and other information to infer your location by interpreting signals between these connection points and the device.
Where we provide LBS—like when you use a T-Mobile app that accesses location data—you will be provided notice of how precise location information is gathered and used and then, given a choice as to whether you want your location to be used for that purpose. T Mobile follows the Best Practices Guidelines for Location-Based Services as established by the CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry. See Guidelines.
In most cases, LBS you use on your device are provided by third parties that we do not control. Therefore, it’s important that you carefully review the terms and privacy policies of third parties before authorizing the sharing and use of your location information.