Smart phones the next privacy battleground?

Wired is reporting that a memo obtained by the ACLU details the retention policies of the major wireless carriers in the US.   Information on smart phone data sessions are retained from 0 days to 1 year depending on the carrier.   As of the 2010 publication of this memo, Verizon, one of the largest US providers, had the least privacy friendly policy with 1 year retention of IP session and destination records.   T-Mobile and AT&T retained records under a week.   Sprint keeps the records for 2 months.

These records are available to your provider for whatever reasons they want and also available to the government without a warrant.

“I don’t think there there is anything [in the retained records that] the government would concede requires a warrant,” said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “This brings cellular retention practices out of the shadows, so we can have a rational discussion about how the law needs to be changed when it comes to the privacy of our records.”

Accessing the internet over your home’s WiFi network not only saves you data usage, but with the addition of a VPN provider on your home’s router it can maintain your privacy while browsing the web and using the internet on your mobile device.


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