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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Phone Records Act

Prevention of Fraudulent Access ! This issue should be one of importance to all Americans, regardless of party or political preference.   If it is of concern to you, please join me in contacting your elected lawmakers.   - fc
Cosumers Union.org

Help Keep Your Cell Phone Records Private!

Think your cell phone records are private?   Think again!   Stalkers, identity thieves, and data-brokers can easily access your detailed cell phone records—who you called, their number, how long you talked, and when. How? They call your cell phone carrier and pretend to be you. And cell phone companies aren’t doing enough to keep your information safe.

Consumers Union wants Congress to take a hard stance against this practice. Congress should make it illegal for anyone use unscrupulous means to buy or sell your phone records. And Congress should require phone companies to do more to safeguard your private information and prohibit them from sharing it with other companies without your express permission. A House of Representatives committee recently approved the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act, strong legislation that would do just that!

Unfortunately, the Senate Commerce Committee will soon consider a bill that would actually weaken privacy protections. It not only fails to require phone companies to safeguard your detailed records, it also prevents your state from imposing stronger privacy protection requirements on those companies a dangerous step backward!

Tell Congress to pass the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act and reject the dangerously weak Senate bill.

Support H.R. 4943, Reject S. 2389

I am rightfully concerned that stalkers, identity thieves, and data-brokers can access my private phone records that I entrusted to my telephone company. I urge you to protect my privacy by supporting H.R. 4943, the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act. Further, you should reject S. 2389, a Senate bill that would actually weaken consumer phone record privacy protections.

It is simply not enough for Congress to prohibit fraudulent practices used to access my private calling records. There will always be those who will flout the law. Congress must make sure that phone companies have safeguards in place that prevent fraudsters from accessing my private information in the first place! In addition, Congress should prohibit my phone company from sharing my private, detailed phone records with their business partners and other companies unless I give them my express permission to do so. The more widely my records are shared, the more vulnerable they are.

The House Commerce Committee recently approved H.R. 4943, which takes all of these steps: it prohibits fraudulent access to my phone records; requires phone companies to implement strict, new security safeguards; and requires my carrier to get my express permission before it hands out my detailed phone records to other companies.

Unfortunately, S. 2389, about to be considered by the Senate Commerce Committee, doesn't require phone companies to do anything more to protect the privacy of my phone records. And at the same time, it prevents my state from enforcing stricter protections on the use and sharing of my private calling records. As a result, the Senate legislation is a dangerous step backward for consumers and should be rejected.

Please support H.R. 4943, the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act, and reject S. 2389, the dangerously weak Senate proposal.

Thank you for protecting my personal privacy!
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