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With just your mobile IP address, a website can find out all of your billing information, and even your precise location. This has been going on for years, largely behind the scenes – but recently the issue has been re-highlighted and the benefits of hiding your IP address are super clear.
Whenever you are using your smartphone’s data plan, you are assigned a mobile IP address by your cell tower. This IP address is provided by your telco, and will always be correlated with your billing information. American telcos like AT&T and Verizon sell your personal information: home address, phone number, and cell phone contract details, possibly even down to your current longitude and latitude, to anyone with your mobile IP address. This means that when you use your mobile to browse the internet, each of the sites you visit could easily have your full name, phone number, home address and email address, and even approximate location. AT&T has been actively providing this information to law enforcement for over a decade, also for a profit.
Leaking your mobile IP address means leaking your billing information too
This news is making waves currently thanks to philipn from Shotwell Labs, who took to the internet medium to spread his message that this crazy invasion of privacy has been actively happening for years. philipn’s post showcased two demos from companies that had bought this access from mobile carriers that demonstrated the power of the mobile identity API. If they use one of the many services that use the information that American telcos are selling access to, any website you visit (or advertiser on said website) can easily get your home and email address,