FCC: Telcos Must Protect The Privacy Of Mobile Metadata That The NSA Insists Isn't Private

from the left-hand?-speak-to-the-right-hand dept

So the FCC has announced new rules saying that mobile operators must protect the privacy of their users, including around various metadata:

“When mobile carriers use their control of customers’ devices to collect information about customers’ use of the network, including using preinstalled apps … carriers are required to protect that information,” the FCC said in a statement today. “This sensitive information can include phone numbers that a customer has called and received calls from, the durations of calls, and the phone’s location at the beginning and end of each call.”

This came out, ostensibly, in response to an investigation by the FCC into the use of services like Carrier IQ by various mobile carriers, whereby they were collecting a ton of data about how everyone used their phones.

However, when put into the context of the news of the month: the federal government’s dragnet surveillance efforts, which involves hoovering up all metadata on every single phone call made… it suddenly becomes somewhat interesting. On the one hand, you have the administration and its defenders claiming that there’s no expectation of privacy in “metadata” like phone numbers, duration of calls and the phone’s location. And yet, now you have the FCC, also a part of the same administration, flat out telling the world (and the telcos) that there’s clearly an expectation of privacy in exactly the same information. And, of course, once you have that expectation of privacy, the 4th Amendment applies, no matter how many times the NSA says otherwise…

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,
Companies: carrier iq

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “FCC: Telcos Must Protect The Privacy Of Mobile Metadata That The NSA Insists Isn't Private”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

the annoying thing is, all people who work for government bodies take an oath to uphold the Constitution, dont they? how come that all goes straight down the crapper whenever those government agencies sees fit? you cant keep changing and/or stretching the rules to suit certain situations. if you do that, every act can be turned into a crime just to suit the way things are at the time. we have had so many laws added and changed to suit situations concerning the entertainment industries. civil crimes have suddenly become criminal crimes not because the deed itself has changed but because those industries threw more money in the right direction so as to penalise more people, more severely than they were before, just because the industries wanted to make people suffer extreme hardship not for the act they had committed but because they had the audacity to commit that act in the first place. Congress have been falling over each other to ramp up protections and punishments over music and movies, seemingly classing them as if the world couldn’t exist without them. i mean, come on, does anyone need a movie to see them through a bad time? i think spending what little money there is on a meal is more appropriate, dont you?? now i read that the fucking knob brains in the UK have dragged millions of pounds out of some pit to create a new police section to protect against copyright enforcement. the country is failing badly and they spend money on this. the industries are doing nothing to support it as usual and while people are struggling to keep warm and fed, the government considers doing something like this. how fucking idiotic can it get??

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...