Secret Memo Reveals Which Cellphone Carriers Store Your Data The Longest

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)

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