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...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Install App?

    Permissions Required:
    Serial Number
    Phone Number
    GPS Coordination
    Storage Access
    Blood Type
    Network Connections
    Personal Information
    Last Date You Got Laid
    4 Digits of SSN
    Mother's Maiden Name

    Yeah, I get the feeling no goddamn telco is going to "protect" customer metadata.

    Call it a hunch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    We're one post from a serendipitous Irony Hat Trick (sequential). There should be an Internet achievement for that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    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??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:36pm


    "civil crimes"

    There is no such thing. Either something is a civil matter or a criminal matter, or sometimes both. I think you meant a civil offense rather than civil crime. And "criminal crimes" is just plain redundant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    They have a term for WHAT?

    So looking up Irony Hat Trick I discovered Canadian Hat Trick, which has given to me the terrible realization that Canadians have far more interesting sex lives than I do.

    It's like learning that Hufflepuff is the house in which everyone gets laid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Maybe it's like a marital vow.

    Upholding the Constitution is more of an ideal to aspire to. You take an oath because it's just so difficult to actually do, kinda like the promises that reborn virgins make in abstinence-only programs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 1st, 2013 @ 4:22am


    Root, revoke permissons (or uninstall). Problem solved. You see, the only ones that will fall for such surveillance and data collection are the clueless, strictly law abiding ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 1st, 2013 @ 4:28am

    I think this is another case of Govt cognitive dissonance or something. Left hand doesn't know what right hand does which leads to sometimes hilarious events where shit hits the fan in that sweet spot causing the worst case splattering.

    Still, the NSA couldn't care less about the Constitution, why would they care about some lousy FCC stuff?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    None, Jan 19th, 2014 @ 2:34am

    Great Information

    Yes i see this last some days. Thanks again for share. You can also visit my Cell Phone Signal Booster website

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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