David Kravets writes:
The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to newly-released Justice Department internal memo that for the first time reveals the data retention policies of America’s largest telecoms.
The single-page Department of Justice document, “Retention Periods of Major Cellular Service Providers,” (.pdf) is a guide for law enforcement agencies looking to get information — like customer IP addresses, call logs, text messages and web surfing habits – out of U.S. telecom companies, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The biggest difference in retention surrounds so-called cell-site data. That is information detailing a phone’s movement history via its connections to mobile phone towers while its traveling.
Verizon keeps that data on a one-year rolling basis; T-Mobile for “a year or more;” Sprint up to two years, and AT&T indefinitely, from July 2008.
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