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.

Mobile Health and Fitness Apps: What Are the Privacy Risks?


Fact Sheet 39Mobile Health and Fitness Apps:
What Are the Privacy Risks?

Sample Letter to the Federal Trade Commision: Oppose Pre-Recorded Telemarketing Calls


Sample Letter to the Federal Trade Commision: Oppose Pre-Recorded Telemarketing Calls

 

Smartphone Privacy: YouTube Video and Tips for Consumers


Smartphones store a tremendous amount of personal information. If your smartphone were lost or stolen, what information would someone be able to access?

  • Photos – Do you have photos on your smartphone that you wouldn't want your boss or certain friends or family to see? Do your photos reveal where you've been because you have the camera's GPS feature turned on? 

  • Emails – Do you sync your personal and/or work email accounts on your phone? Are archived and sent messages accessible? How far back do they go? 

  • Banking – Do you have apps installed that provide direct access to your banking account information? Is it possible to transfer money through the app? 

  • Social Networking – Do you have apps installed that provide direct access to your social networking accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? 

  • Notes – Do you have any apps where you store notes or documents? Do any of those notes contain your Social Security number, medical information or financial account numbers?

The last in our short-film series, Smartphones: Protect Your Data explores the privacy implications of smartphones and offers practical tips to protect your privacy. In the 5-minute video, a college student named Josh misplaces his phone. Josh and his friend, Ashley, search for the phone, but can't find it. He becomes increasingly alarmed when he realizes what's at stake. Watch the video to see what happens.

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