AT&T to disclose government requests for user data
AT&T's move follows similar announcement made by rival Verizon on Thursday
IDG News Service - AT&T has joined Verizon Communications in promising to report on government requests for information about its customers, setting the stage for semiannual disclosures from both the dominant U.S. wireline carriers starting early next year.
The company's announcement came just a day after Verizon had promised similar reports, a fact AT&T acknowledged. Earlier this month, AT&T had asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to support its removing a shareholder proposal about such disclosures from its annual proxy statement.
In a statement, AT&T said it would report the total number of requests from law enforcement agencies in criminal cases; information about subpoenas, court orders and warrants; the number of AT&T customers affected; and details about legal demands that the carrier receives. The first such report will cover 2013 and will come out early next year, the company said in the statement, which was attributed to Senior Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts.
AT&T said when governments ask for subscriber data, it works to ensure that each request is legal, and it sought to reassure consumers it doesn't feed information directly to authorities.
"We do not allow any government agency to connect directly to our network to gather, review or retrieve our customers' information," Watts said. In addition, AT&T only provides wireless customer location data except in response to court orders and in emergencies such as missing-child cases, he said.
Google, Twitter and other Internet companies already release information about government information requests and have criticized the U.S. government's collection of data about phone and online activity.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Architecting the Network of the Future Networks need to change, as does the way IT thinks about and manages them. In addition to reliability, IT must now add higher...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Wireless Carriers White Papers |