Are Cell Phone Records Available to the Public?

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As of 2015, federal law prohibits all local, long-distance and wireless telephone service providers from releasing a customer's records without authorization, unless a law enforcement agency requests the data using the approved method. The regulations also prohibit the release of a user's records to the user without proper identification.

If a wireless company wishes to use a customer's data for marketing or reasons other than law enforcement, they must receive authorization from the customer by an acceptable method. The method accepted by the Federal Communications Commission is to notify the customer of the intended use the information and offer them an option to opt in or opt out for that use. Law enforcement must have a subpoena or comply with national security guidelines to access a user's personal records.