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Cellphones Privacy Wireless Networking Your Rights Online

Analyzing Data Retention By Wireless Carriers 25

Posted by Soulskill
from the privacy-on-a-timetable dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "How long does your cell phone carrier retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. The data was made public after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request related to an investigation into cell phone location tracking by police."
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Analyzing Data Retention By Wireless Carriers

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  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday September 30, 2011 @03:18PM (#37570874)

    The better question is, how long do all those wiretaps and secret government networks retain the data? If they can record all the traffic on the internet and store it for several years, I don't think storing cell phone data is even a blip on the radar.

    Cell phones->File->'Save All'

    • by aglider (2435074)

      When finally there will be a P2P network with encryption like DHT used by some ... P2P networks.

      • When finally there will be a P2P network with encryption like DHT used by some ... P2P networks.

        Do you mean a P2P network with encryption and DHT, because "encryption like DHT" doesn't exactly make sense to me (DHT is not encryption).

        While it doesn't have DHT, a thing like RetroShare might be what you're looking for. Have a look at dark [wikipedia.org] and friend-to-friend [wikipedia.org] networks, too.

        • by aglider (2435074)

          I meant:

          a P2P (network with encryption) like DHT

          That is a network modeled after DHT and supporting encryption.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      I would figure that due the massive amounts of data collected that they do not store all of the data, but instead just data meets a certain requirements.

      Such as calls that the word Allah may have been used, or internet posts that mention infidel or ammonia nitrate. Stuff along those lines.

      • by NevarMore (248971) on Friday September 30, 2011 @03:50PM (#37571202) Homepage Journal

        $ 2011-09-30 15:34 User: Jeng
        Key words detected: Allah (ammonium nitrate) stuff lines
        Begin Permanent Logging
        Add to TSA Grope List

        • by Jeng (926980)

          If they are keeping track of people they have probably been keeping track of me since 2005 when I posted this beauty.

          If I was forming a militia assault weapons and an M1A1 would be right at the top of my list, I just wouldn't want the militia to be publicly known especially by the government since they are the ones that the militia would be there to keep in check.

          I think the militia argument is abit off. The first militia's afaik were not truly orginized, but more of hunter bob and hunter fred knocking off a couple red coats. As things progressed they got more of their buddies to help out, then got orginized as they went up against larger targets. The right to bear arms imo is the right to keep a gun around in case you want to help shoot members of the government, oh and um also home defense and hunting of course.

        • They have no need for a TSA Grope List, because everybody is already on it.

  • 1984 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Squidlips (1206004) on Friday September 30, 2011 @03:39PM (#37571058)
    As Stallman says, "Cellphones are Stalin's dream". Keep the phone off when not in use and use them as little as possible. I supposed that at some time in the near future we will be required to keep it on (some states such as The People's Republic of Massachusetts is considering mandating GPS trackers in cars).
    • by erroneus (253617)

      Apple is already doing that with their non-replaceable batteries.

      I still get deer-in-headlights reactions when I tell them that their iphones are never really off.

    • Re:1984 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995) on Friday September 30, 2011 @03:44PM (#37571120)

      The trick is to structure a society that avoids letting Stalins act on their dreams, living your life in a way that protects you from things potential Stalins might do is not living at all.

      • Are you suggesting a fragile social solution in favor of a technical one?

        AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
        • by swalve (1980968)
          A social solution is hard to implement, but even harder to de-implement. Analogy: kids are stupid and do stupid things. How do we solve that? Instead of building foam barricades that stop them from doing stupid things, we teach them how to be less stupid. And once a kid learns not to run into traffic, there is very little you can do to convince them to run into the path of a Freightliner.

          A population that is aware of how dictators work and able to recognize the behavior will be more likely to stop it wh
    • by Bucky24 (1943328)
      If you keep it off then how will others call you?
  • I received an email just last night to opt out of data mining and ads on my cel phone from Verizon Wireless.

    I of course, took them up on the offer and noted that you must do this for any new cel phone # you have on your account.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    speaking as someone who works in the industry, i believe that the responses are somewhat skewed. while the provider may not hold the data for more than a few days, the billing vendor certainly holds on to at least thirty days, and probably ninety. billing disputes and errors can get ugly when there's no back-up to go to.

    additionally, there's always the lingering legal question...when you deal with multiple municipalities and 'legal zones', it gets hairy knowing when to provide data, when not to provide da

  • http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1740,iid=313504,00.asp [pcmag.com]

    Curious that a few things are missing, such as "voice call content" and "GPS Location". Does IP session information include the content?

  • Data Retention PDF (Score:4, Informative)

    by E.I.A (2303368) on Friday September 30, 2011 @09:00PM (#37574042) Homepage Journal
    http://cryptome.org/isp-spy/cellular-spy.pdf [cryptome.org] -- Shows retention durations of a few major providers, and lists various types of data retentions.

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