November 14, 2005- Selling Private Cell Phone Records Must Stop

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) Ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, responded to recent news reports of the commercial availability of consumer telephone records by companies like www.celltolls.com and other web-based companies that sell private cell phone records for as low as $89.95.  A CBS – 4 Boston news report detailed that consumer phone records and billing information are now available for sale on several Internet websites.

“It is ILLEGAL to disclose this information without the approval of telephone subscribers,” said Rep. Markey.   “The privacy of American citizens is priceless -- the phone records of consumers should not be commodities for sale in any cyberspace bazaar. 

“I am requesting that the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission take immediate action – we must make it clear to these companies that they cannot profit off of the exploitation of consumer privacy,” Markey continued.

Rep. Markey reacted swiftly to this violation of private consumer information sending a letter to Chairmen Kevin Martin of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Deborah P. Majoras of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), requesting that immediate action be taken by the FCC and the FTC in order to halt the sale of consumers’ private information on a secret black market.

The letter sent to the trade and consumer agencies stated: “we must send a signal to the public and these website companies that the abuse of private information will not be tolerated.”   The letter also requested that the agencies provide information regarding the steps that carriers are currently obligated to take under FCC rules to secure and protect consumer information.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work to protect consumer privacy and for a copy of the letter sent to the FTC and FCC check out: www.house.gov/markey

Rep. Markey Letter to FTC and FCC, November 14, 2005 iss_privacy_ltr051107.pdf iss_privacy_ltr051107.pdf (487.87 KB)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
202.225.2836