How long does your cellphone company keep logs of your text messages? Of the words you wrote? Of the calls you made? A Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina unearthed a Department of Justice document that breaks down the retention periods for each mobile provider.
As reported on WIRED, it looks like AT&T hold onto text message details the longest, at 5-7 years for post-paid. Verizon is the shortest, at 1 year rolling. However, Verizon is the only one to hold on to text message content, at 3-5 days. Similarly, the ends of the spectrum on call detail records are 5-7 years for AT&T and 1 year for Verizon.
If you’re into privacy and don’t like the idea of anyone tracking you, even if you haven’t done anything wrong, the following could serve as a cellphone carrier buying guide.
Which Telecoms Store Your Data the Longest? Secret Memo Tells All [WIRED]
Retention Periods of Major Cellular Service Providers (PDF, Department of Justice)