The Chicago Police Department is warning officers their cell phone records are available to anyone — for a price. Dozens of online services are selling lists of cell phone calls, raising security concerns among law enforcement and privacy experts. . . .
To test the service, the FBI paid Locatecell.com $160 to buy the records for an agent’s cell phone and received the list within three hours, the police bulletin said. . . .
How well do the services work? The Chicago Sun-Times paid $110 to Locatecell.com to purchase a one-month record of calls for this reporter’s company cell phone. It was as simple as e-mailing the telephone number to the service along with a credit card number. . . .
On Tuesday, when it reopened, Locatecell.com e-mailed a list of 78 telephone numbers this reporter called on his cell phone between Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. The list included calls to law enforcement sources, story subjects and other Sun-Times reporters and editors.
The survey further reveals that the majority of adults who use the internet do not know where to turn for help if their personal information is used illegally online or offline. The study’s findings suggest a complex mix of ignorance and knowledge, fear and bravado, realism and idealism that leaves most internet-using adult American shoppers open to financial exploitation by retailers.
There’s been a ton of media exposure about security breaches at major companies. Most recently, Time Warner admitted it lost data on 600,000 current and former employees. Bank of America Lost data on over 1 million people. ChoicePoint sold personal information on about 145,000 people to identity thieves. And Lexis Nexis had data on about 310,000 people improperly accessed. USA Today adds it all up and concludes: