FCC Strengthens Privacy Rules to Prevent Pretexting

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 3, 2007

Press release: “The Federal Communications Commission has strengthened its privacy rules by requiring telephone and wireless carriers to adopt additional safeguards to protect the personal telephone records of consumers from unauthorized disclosure. These new safeguards will help prevent unauthorized access to customer proprietary network information, or CPNI.”

  • Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Adopted: March 13, 2007 – Released April 2, 2007: “Our Order is directly responsive to the actions of data brokers, or pretexters, to obtain unauthorized access to CPNI. As the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) pointed out in its petition that led to this rulemaking proceeding, numerous websites advertise the sale of personal telephone records for a price. These data brokers have been able to obtain private and personal information, including what calls were made to and/or from a particular telephone number and the duration of such calls. In many cases, the data brokers claim to be able to provide this information within fairly quick time frames, ranging from a few hours to a few days. The additional privacy safeguards we adopt today will sharply limit pretexters’ ability to obtain unauthorized access to this type of personal customer information from carriers we regulate. We also adopt a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on what steps the Commission should take, if any, to secure further the privacy of customer information.”
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