FTC and FCC activity on telephone accounts

The Federal Trade Commission has sought a permanent injunction against Action Research Group and Eye In the Sky Investigations for obtaining and selling to third parties confidential customer phone records in violation of the FTC Act prohibiting deceptive acts.
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Action Research Group, Inc., Joseph Depante, Matthew Depante, Bryan Wagner, Cassandra Selvage, and Eye in the Sky Investigations, Inc., Defendants. (United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division)

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is getting resistance from telephone companies over proposed rules requiring that customers use a password to access their account information and that the companies get a customer’s permission before they release information for telemarketing.

The Justice Department is objecting to two of the FCC proposals.

The first would tell phone companies to destroy customer records as soon as the records no longer are needed for legitimate business purposes. The government wants the records preserved for possible use in criminal investigations.

Secondly, the two departments want phone companies to notify law enforcement officials first, before customers, when customers’ private billing information has been disclosed improperly.

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2 thoughts on “FTC and FCC activity on telephone accounts

  1. The laws vary from state to state etc., and can be interpreted to suit the individual case or circumstance. In other words, I have seen D.A.’s become very creative when it comes to criminal impersonation, trespass and even burglary.(yes, one employee of a well known firm here in NY was arrested for burglary after pretexting. He also lost his full time job as a Police Officer).
    I for one, am not willing to risk arrest for any case. Pretexting is an investigative tool that many use and it serves well, I am sure. But there are so many ways to achieve the same results without pretexting. I think if it was completely banned it would make no difference at all to the seasoned investigator.

  2. It seems that some PI’s and even this blog want to scare the industry into thinking that all pretexting is illegal or will be.

    Here is one sample from the blog titled “FTC and FCC activity on telephone accounts”: “Secondly, the two departments want phone companies to notify law enforcement officials first, before customers, when customers’ private billing information has been disclosed improperly”

    Private billing information is VERY ambiguous. Currently, and correct me if I am wrong, the ONLY laws on the books is pretexting for financial records and telephone / cellular CALL RECORDS, period.

    I think more effort needs to be in educating the industry about what the laws state rather than scaring the industry with ambiguous statements without fact.

    Just my two cents worth.

    Patrick Baird, TPLI

    1st Source / PDJ Investigations – Lic A10979
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