Consumer advocates have asked federal regulators to declare phone companies to be in violation of federal privacy rules when they sell subscriber information to third parties, including the CIA.
Led by Public Knowledge, privacy groups asked the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday to declare that such cooperation in violation of the Communications Act, which restricts how carriers may use or sell subscribers’ personal information. The action is in response to a New York Times report last month that the CIA pays AT&T for access to subscriber data.
“Americans should be able to rest assured that carriers can’t just turn around and secretly share or sell that information with marketers or the government without consent,” Public Knowledge staff attorney Laura Moy said in a statement. “This section of the Communications Act was designed to protect consumers’ privacy, and the FCC should do just that by vigorously enforcing it.”