Senator Marty Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn) today is calling for tougher penalties on companies and individuals that are illegally obtaining and distributing private cellular phone records.
"We are dealing with unscrupulous companies that are selling highly sensitive, private, information," said Senator Golden a retired former New York City Police Officer. "I have researched websites that provide detailed cellular phone billing information. The information for sale includes the length, time and the telephone number of the person who is called. Imagine what such information could be used for in the hands of criminals including terrorism, identity theft, stalking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes."
Golden stated, "There are no limits in preventing these unscrupulous companies from selling private information to anyone who wants it. It is frightening that an individual can simply submit a cellular phone number, pay a $95 fee that is refundable should no number be found, and within 1-4 hours be provided with explicit calling information. Companies and individuals engaging in this activity should be punished."
The sale of cellular phone records has lead to an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, filing of law suits by carriers such as Cingular and T-Mobile and legislation focused on stopping the corrupt use of private information.
Golden is working with Senate Consumer Protection Chairman Charles Fuschillo on a proposal to strengthen New York’s laws to prevent the dissemination of private cellular phone records.