"Phone records" contain call logs (also known as "call records") and text logs (also known as "text records"). Cell phone records contain essentially the same information as landline phone records.
A call log typically includes:
- Recipient phone number
- Recipient geographic location
- Duration of call
A text log includes:
- Recipient phone number
Reverse Phone Detective does not condone and is in no way affiliated with the sale of or misadvertising of selling phone records.
Many sites claim they can provide phone records, but that's just not the case. In addition, the sale of phone records to third parties is ILLEGAL.
Who has my phone records?
- Your phone company and affiliates: your service provider and their billing partners
Your phone company and affiliates:
Of course they have your phone and text records. The real issue here is: who are they sharing them with, right? Well, if it's an affiliate company-- say the paper printing company they outsourced your bill printing to-- then that affiliate will have your information. That's just part of life. Good news: that affiliate has to put the same protection standards on your information that the parent company does.
Generally speaking though, phone records are considered Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI). This is essentially their "top shelf" data with the most safeguards. It is a highly regulated area of the industry.
Don't expect CPNI information to be sold by your phone company with identifying information about you. That is, they may "sanitize" the data and remove any personally identifying information to sell it to a third party (for example, a marketing analysis firm).
The good news here is, again, this is highly regulated by law-- the phone company must always allow for the consumer to "opt-out" of this type of information transfer. Now this "opt-out" may be in the fine print of a user agreement: as simple as a box you check (or don't check), a verbal "yes" or "no" response to an approval announcement.
So keep an eye out, if you tell your phone company or anyone that they cannot sell your information then they absolutely cannot (unless it's directory/public information).
Historically, your phone company must submit all of your call and text records if subpoenaed by a government agency. Your phone company's cooperation is a must or else they get stiff fines and charges brought against them.
This brings us to our next category...
Who can get my phone records?
- Government agencies: federal agencies like the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as local-level agencies like the police department.
- Third party persons: anyone who accidentally or knowingly seeks your phone and text records. This includes family, friends, employers, and prospective thieves. This is illegal.
Historically, if you are involved in a lawsuit or if some lawsuit involves your phone and text records... then they will be handed over to the appropriate court. If you are part of an investigation, then a law agency can obtain your records.
Here's what many consumers find disturbing: The FBI and NSA can subpoena the phone company for phone records without a prior warrant or any obvious reason as a result of the 2001 Patriot Act. The pretense here is to "aid in the halting of terrorism."
The reason the Patriot Act raises many eyebrows is because it makes it illegal for any phone company that has delivered records to a government security agency to make it publicly known or even discuss it. That is a red flag for the potential abuse of civil liberties to many people.
You, government security agencies, and your phone company have lawful access to your phone and text records. Third party persons cannot obtain them legally but may do so with available tools in the marketplace and old-fashioned stealing.