Sprint sues over cell phone records

Files suit against company it says obtained customers' confidential cell phone records through deceptive means.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
Sprint Nextel has filed a lawsuit against a Florida company that it claims obtained customers' confidential cell phone records through deceptive means.

Sprint filed its lawsuit against St. Petersburg-based San Marco & Associates last week in a U.S. District Court in Florida. The lawsuit alleges San Marco & Associates tried to obtain the confidential records under false pretenses and then tried to sell the information to data brokers.

"As we dig deeper into the origins of this fraud, we've determined that, in some cases, companies with no Internet presence whatsoever are handling the dirty work for these online operations," Kent Nakamura, Sprint Nextel chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

Sprint is seeking temporary and permanent injunctionS against San Marco & Associates. Earlier this year, the courts granted Sprint a permanent injunction against First Source Information Specialists, parent company of such Web sites as locatecell.com and datafind.org, which can no longer attempt to obtain or distribute confidential cell phone records belonging to Sprint customers.

As a result of illicit activity related to fraudulently obtained and distributed confidential cell phone records, lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission have undertaken action to curtail such efforts. Earlier this month, two bills moved closer to passage that would result in prison time for convicted cell phone record thieves.