Cell-Record-Peddling Websites Shut Down

Two websites accused of illegally obtaining and peddling Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile customer cell phone records have closed down, the Associated Press reports via MSNBC.com.

"We are no longer accepting new orders...Thank you for your patronage.  It was a pleasure serving you," reads celltolls.com, one of the accused websites.

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated 40 sites that reputedly sold private customer cell phone records, the AP reports.

Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, told the AP that 20 sites have already been brought down, and letters have been sent to roughly 20 more, warning them they may be in violation of U.S. law.

Though locateacell.com and celltolls.com are no longer in operation, a number of other data brokers have jumped in to pick up where they left off, Marc Rotenberg, the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s executive director, told the AP.

Rotenberg warns of a practice called "pretexting," in which a cell phone company is spoofed by an impersonator pretending to be a customer, in order to obtain data that can then be sold to interested parties.

For background, read Wireless Data Brokers Sued By Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile Aims To Stop Call Record Sales, Temporary Protection for T-Mobile Customers, FCC May Fine AT&T, Alltel, House to Investigate Cell Industry Privacy Safeguards and House Panel Demands Info From Data Brokers.

Don’t forget to keep checking in at our CIO News Alerts page for updated news coverage.

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