Websites are popping up all over the Internet which claim to provide records of both incoming and outgoing cell phone calls - for any phone number - for less than 100 dollars US.
This information is made available for law-enforcement agencies by the phone carriers, however, it is not meant for the public, and the availablity of such data could easily be exploited by criminals to build a profile on a potential victim.
LocateCell.com is one of the most well known of these services, offering a “Reverse Cell Phone Number Lookup” for $65, which will return the address and personal information of any given number, as well as the more privacy invasive of the offerings, a $110 “Cell Phone Call Record” service.
LocateCell.com claims to offer less than four hour response time for all their services, and will return a complete list of cell phone records, both incoming and outgoing to any buyer.
The cell carriers claim that this information is acquired through fraudulent actions, most notably as posing as a customer and requesting the information.
“Phone companies can definitely do a better job securing data, it’s extremely important that something be done to prevent these breaches from continuing, because it impacts everyone’s right to privacy.” says a member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless both claim to be taking action against the selling of private information, both of which have filed lawsuits and requested court orders against many providers of such data information. The FCC’s enforcement department is also looking in to companies which obtain phone records illegally.
“The kinds of information that is available in call centers, coupled with access to the Internet that people working in these centers have, is a perfect storm for data breaches, the key to protecting data in any company is having a policy about how to handle sensitive data and enforcing it from a personnel perspective, as well as from a technology perspective.” says the director of corporate communications at Vontu Inc.
Record of your cell phone calls could be being sold worldwide, by private companies who can access such data.
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