Published: April 2017

Unnecessary FCC rule continues to threaten consumers’ privacy

Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging the Federal Communications Commission to repeal a rule that requires phone companies to retain the detailed call records of their customers, saying it’s unnecessary and threatens consumer privacy. The rule, known as the data retention mandate, is unduly burdensome and ineffectual and poses a threat to American consumers’ privacy and security.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, coalition advocates argue that the data retention rule is an outdated and unnecessary regulation that threatens consumers’ privacy. The regulation requires every phone carrier to hold call records for 18 months, including the name, address and phone number of callers, the phone number called, and the date, time and length of the call. Carriers must retain this information for toll calls that it bills regardless of whether it is billing its own toll service customers or billing customers for another carrier.

The rule violates customers’ privacy rights by requiring carriers to keep sensitive information about millions of Americans who are under no suspicion of wrongdoing, adding that the rule increases the likelihood that data will be exposed in a security breach.

Lead Organization

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Other Organizations

Access Now | American-Arab Discrimination (ADC) American Library Association | Benton Foundation | Campaign for Liberty | Center for Digital Democracy | Center for Democracy & Technology Center for Media Justice | Citizens for Health | Citizen Outreach | Competitive Enterprise Institute | Constitutional Alliance | Consumer Action | Consumer Watchdog | Consumers Union | Council on American-Islamic Relations Cyber Privacy Project | Defending Rights & Dissent |, Inc. | Electronic Frontier Foundation | Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) | Fight for the Future | Government Accountability Project | International Association of Whistleblowers | Liberty Coalition | Niskanen Center | Online Trust Alliance | | Patient Privacy Rights | PEN American Center | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Privacy Times | R Street Institute | Restore the Fourth | The Rutherford Institute | TechFreedom | U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) | World Privacy Forum

More Information

To read the full letter, click here.

For more information, please visit EPIC's website.

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