Sprint Nextel has filed a third lawsuit against companies allegedly selling the mobile phone records of its customers, the company announced Monday.
The lawsuit, against San Marco & Associates Private Investigations of St. Petersburg, Fla., was filed Friday in U.S. court in Florida, Sprint Nextel said.
In the complaint, Sprint Nextel accuses San Marco & Associates of using fraudulent tactics such as pretexting, the practice of obtaining personal information under false pretenses, to access mobile phone logs and phone numbers. Pretexting often involves a scammer pretending to be a mobile phone customer in order to get personal information from a carrier.
Sprint Nextel has requested both temporary and permanent injunctions against San Marco & Associates, the company said.
San Marco & Associates did not return a phone call seeking comment on the Sprint Nextel lawsuit.
Complaints over the sale of mobile phone records started last August, when the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy and civil liberties advocacy group, petitioned the U.S. Federal Communications Commission asking it to require stronger protection for phone records. Since then, several media reports have highlighted the problem, and members of the U.S. Congress have introduced bills to ban phone record sales.
In January, Sprint Nextel filed a pretexting lawsuit against 1st Source Information Specialists, and the carrier later won an injunction against the operator of Locatecell.com, Datafind.org and other websites. After the injunction, 1st Source can no longer sell call records from Sprint Nextel customers.
Sprint Nextel also filed a complaint in January against All Star Investigations, believed to operate OnlinePI.com, Allstarinvestigations.com, Detectivesusa.com and other websites.
In January, Verizon Wireless filed a lawsuit against several companies, including 1st Source Information Specialists and Data Find Solutions. Verizon secured injunctions against other companies in an effort to stop them from fraudulently obtaining Verizon customer data.
Also in January, Cingular Wireless won an injunction that ordered eFindOutTheTruth.com not to pose as a Cingular customer or employee for any purpose. Cingular has filed a lawsuit against the company charging it with unlawfully obtaining Cingular customer records. Cingular has also secured similar restraining orders against two other companies.
-Grant Gross, IDG News Service
For related news coverage, read Calif. Sues Firm for Peddling Cell Records, Congress Targets Phone-Record Peddlers and Cell-Record-Peddling Websites Shut Down.
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