Letter to Congress Re: H.R. 4943, the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records

The legislation includes provisions both to deter pretexting and other fraud used to access phone records, and to prevent telecommunications carriers from releasing records to those who ignore federal fraud prohibitions. Specifically, the legislation explicitly prohibits fraudulent and deceptive practices to obtain consumers’ private phone records. It also requires the Federal Communications Commission to implement tougher regulations requiring phone companies to put in place new safeguards to prevent pretexting before consumers’ private information is released, and prevents phone companies from sharing consumer records with joint venture partners, contractors and other third parties without consumers’ express consent. Each of these components is necessary to address this growing problem.