Location services

The use of 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 using our network. This is how we route wireless communications (calls, text messages, etc.) to and from the devices even as they are moving. It’s also how we can deliver approximate device location information to emergency officials to respond to 911 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-sharing services) sometimes 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. The location capabilities may use a combination of the device’s Global Positioning Satellite (“GPS”) capabilities, crowd-sourced WiFi and cell tower location databases, and other information to infer location by interpreting signals between these connection points and the device.

Although LBS can be very useful, information about a device’s location is potentially sensitive. The key to managing how LBS use and share location information is first understanding the party or parties providing the LBS – whether T Mobile or a Third-Party – and then understanding the party’s privacy policy and terms of use for the LBS.

T Mobile LBS

Where T Mobile provides LBS (such as when you use a T-Mobile app), you will be provided notice of whether and how precise location information is gathered and used and given a choice as to whether your location should 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.

Third-Party LBS

In most cases, LBS you use on your device are provided by third-parties that T Mobile does not control. Therefore, it’s important that you carefully review such third-parties’ privacy policies and other terms before authorizing the sharing and use of location information.