The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new privacy rules for telephone and wireless companies on Tuesday aimed at strengthening safeguards against pretexting, the disclosure of personal telephone records to unauthorized individuals. The new rules include carrier authentication requirements, additional notice requirements, and annual certification requirements. Commenting on the new rules, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a prepared statement that the regulations significantly strengthen existing safeguards by requiring express consent before a carrier can give a customer’s phone records to other parties for marketing purposes.
In January, President Bush signed into law new federal legislation to protect telephone consumers from pretexting. The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006 was approved by the US Senate in December in response to the Hewlett-Packard corporate spying scandal that broke last summer.