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Congress to Require Improved Protection of Cell Phone Records

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At a congressional hearing scheduled for today, the cell phone industry will be told it needs to be more tightly regulated in the area of information protection. The issue has received attention over the last several weeks in lawsuits filed by the major cell phone providers against cell phone "data brokers" that fool customer service personnel into giving away calling records by masquerading as subscribers; these records are then sold to others.

Some claim that cell phone companies' training programs for call center operators may be shoddy, while other firms may lose unprotected company records. And some companies may have employees who are funneling call records to data brokers.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the FCC recommended $100,000 fines be issued against AT&T and Alltel for failing to certify their compliance with rules to safeguard customer records.

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