Wireless Communications: Voice and Data Privacy

Fact Sheet 2Wireless Communications:
Voice and Data Privacy

Hang Up on Harassment: Dealing with Cellular Phone Abuse

Fact Sheet 2aHang Up on Harassment:
Dealing with Cellular Phone Abuse

How to Put an End to Unwanted or Harassing Phone Calls

Fact Sheet 3How to Put an End to Unwanted or Harassing Phone Calls

Telemarketing: How to Have a Quiet Evening at Home

Fact Sheet 5Telemarketing:
How to Have a Quiet Evening at Home

Frequently Asked Questions about Telemarketing

Fact Sheet 5bFrequently Asked Questions about Telemarketing

"Other" Consumer Reports: What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports

Fact Sheet 6b"Other" Consumer Reports:
What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports

Despite its name, the Fair Credit Reporting Act covers a lot more than simply credit reports. Credit reports are just one of a broader category of consumer reports covered by the FCRA. Consumer reports can also include reports about you made to employers, insurance companies, banks, and landlords. In recent years, many new companies have sprouted, compiling reports specifically targeted at employers, insurers, and landlords. The companies that compile reports for targeted users are “consumer reporting agencies” under the FCRA, just like the three national credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Companies that compile reports on consumers for other than credit have been designated by Congress as “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies.” These agencies compile reports about much more than just your credit history. Here are a few examples of the types of reports that they compile:

  • Medical conditions (for example, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) report)
  • Residential or tenant history and evictions (for example, the Unlawful Detainer (UD) Registry)
  • Check writing history (for example ChexSystems)
  • Employment background checks
  • Homeowner and auto insurance claims (for example, CLUE reports)

Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring

Fact Sheet 7Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring

Employers want to be sure their employees are doing a good job, but employees don't want their every sneeze or trip to the water cooler logged. That's the essential conflict of workplace monitoring.

New technologies make it possible for employers to monitor many aspects of their employees' jobs, especially on telephones, computer terminals, through electronic and voice mail, and when employees are using the Internet. Such monitoring is virtually unregulated. Therefore, unless company policy specifically states otherwise (and even this is not assured), your employer may listen, watch and read most of your workplace communications.

Read our guide to learn more about workplace privacy issues.

Wiretapping and Eavesdropping on Telephone Calls

Fact Sheet 9Wiretapping and Eavesdropping on Telephone Calls

Caller ID and My Privacy

Fact Sheet 19Caller ID and My Privacy

Caller Identification, or Caller ID, acts like an electronic peephole, allowing a person receiving a phone call to see who is calling before answering the phone. The caller’s telephone number and/or name is displayed either on your phone (if your phone has this feature) or on a display unit that you must buy separately. Caller ID means you lose control over the privacy of your phone number -- unless you take advantage of the free phone number blocking options that are available to you.

Protecting Your Telephone Records: Does Your Carrier’s Privacy Policy Ring True?

Fact Sheet 34Protecting Your Telephone Records:
Does Your Carrier’s Privacy Policy Ring True?

We have more than 50 Privacy Fact Sheets. Click here to see the rest.

When you pick up your telephone and punch in a number, you expect that the contact is just between you and the person you call. Sure, you know your telephone carrier logs your phone’s activity. After all, a record of your mobile phone calls appears on your monthly telephone bill. And the bill for your landline phone includes information on calls made to phone numbers outside the local zone. But, what you don’t expect is that someone could use your calling history to pry into your personal life, even to physically harm you.

Since 1996, federal communications laws have required telephone companies to protect the confidentiality of your telephone calls. Despite this restriction, in the years after 1996 instances of unauthorized access to telephone records exploded. This guide explains the current efforts to stop unauthorized access to your telephone records. It offers suggestions on how to protect your records, and it provides resources for additional reading.

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