Geotag, You're It! What Your Smartphone Might Be Saying Behind Your Back


Snap a photo of a sunset with your iPhone and you can upload it to Twitter with a few clicks. But your smartphone might be transmitting more than a pretty photograph. It could be collecting and storing data about your real-time location – and then broadcasting that information when you upload photos onto the Internet. What is Geotagging? Geotagging refers to the practice of adding location information – like GPS coordinates – to different types of media, such as photos. The location information is embedded in a way that may not be visible to the naked eye. There are several ways to make geotags visible, including browser plug-ins and software programs that can reveal the location information embedded in photos, videos and other types of media.

Prerecorded Telemarketing Calls: The Need for Industry Reform


VMBC petitioned the Commission to amend the TSR to allow prerecorded telemarketing calls to consumers when the caller has a claimed business relation. If accepted, an EBR exception for prerecorded sales calls would have created a major loophole, opening the door for a dramatic increase in unwanted calls to consumers who had placed their telephone numbers on the national Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry.

Contact the FTC: Speak Out about Pre-Recorded Telemarketing Calls


Did you put your telephone number on the national Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC), but still get sales calls from companies you’ve never heard of? Quite likely many unwanted sales calls you get today are not made by a live person. Instead many companies use auto-dialers, programmed to start a recorded message the minute you answer the phone. But, the calls that probably really get your dander up are the “dead air” calls, when you run to catch the phone but are met with silence.

Your Cell Phone Can Continue Talking Even After You Get Rid of It


It may not seem like common sense to clean your trash before you throw it away, but with technology that is exactly what you should do. 

Before you sell, donate or trash your cell phone, make sure that your personal information has been permanently deleted.  For most phones, this means more than resetting the phone.  Although resetting the phone may appear to delete your information, recent reports suggest that software programs can retrieve the information if it was not properly deleted.

Prohibit Debt Collectors from Calling Cell Phones: Comments to the FCC


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC)1 appreciates the opportunity to comment, opposing ACA International's (ACA)2 Petition. The ACA asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) to exempt debt collectors from cell phone privacy rules adopted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).3 We urge the Commission to deny this Petition.

Tell the FCC to Stop Debt Collectors from Calling Your Cell Phone


Debt collectors want permission to call your cell phone. They want to use autodialers in order to reach as many numbers as possible.

The law currently protects consumers from such calls to cell phones, but the debt collectors want that to change.

Keeping Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Private: Comments to the FCC


Consumers expect that their telephone calling records will remain private and unavailable to third parties without the customer's knowledge and authorization. Yet, it is clear that this expectation is unrealistic, evidenced by the findings in the Petition for Rulemaking submitted to the Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).3

EPIC's Petition as well as recent news reports, state and federal legislative proposals, and government lawsuits against data brokers all point to a disturbing situation: Not only are current safeguards for customer calling records inadequate, but those that exist are being blatantly ignored.

Protect Your Cell Phone Records


Most of us assume that our phone records are private. Despite mounting legal battles, information brokers on the Internet continue to offer the name and address connected to a cell phone number, an individual's phone number, even the complete record of outgoing and incoming phone calls.

Bogus Email Claims Cell Phone Numbers Being Released to Marketers


Like so many emails these days you can't believe everything that comes into your inbox. A recent example of some of the half truths contained in well-intentioned emails includes the following which has been making the rounds on the Internet:

Comments to the Federal Trade Commission: Prerecorded Telemarketing Calls to Existing Business Customers (EBR)


For years intrusive, privacy invasive telemarketing calls have been a major source of consumer outrage.  Calls made by so-called “predictive” dialers -- automatic dialing that allows a telemarketer to call multiple households at one time -- have been a significant consumer complaint. Such calls are intrusive, invade the privacy of one’s home, and result in great annoyance when one races to answer the phone to find only dead air or a hang-up on the other end of the line. Predicative dialer calls are particularly troublesome and potentially dangerous for the elderly and the disabled.

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