Feeds

US phone record sale outrage

Cheating spouses beware

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The no-questions-asked sale of phone call records by US data brokers has prompted a huge security flap. The disreputable practice forced the Chicago Police Department to warn officers that their call records might be easily obtainable - potentially exposing the identities of police informants to criminals. Privacy advocates are also alarmed at the effects access to call records through online sources might have on civil liberties.

US Senator Charles Schumer is calling for laws to specifically criminalize phone record theft. He hopes the laws will be put in place while state officials in Illinois consider legislation to ban the sales of people's call records. All well and good, but what about putting more pressure on phone companies to keep records more secure?

Dozens of data brokers in the US make a business from selling call records - sometimes obtained from phone company insiders or by deception - for about $100 per account per month. The chief market is private investigators, but an investigation by the Chicago Sun Times suggests the information is available to anyone who's prepared to pay. Little or no checks are applied over the identity of the person requesting information.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over these practices. It has also submitted a petition to the regulator asking it to act to make sure phone companies improve their security safeguards. Meanwhile, consumers are advised to ask their phone companies to install a password on their individual accounts in a bid to block unauthorised access. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.