No More Cell Phone Privacy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


No More Cell Phone Privacy

Billy White is a private investigator in Tyler. For years, he's used cell phone records as a critical part of his business.

"85 or 90 percent are men, which is surprising. They'll want to know what their girlfriends or wives are doing when they're out of town, out of state, out of mind. They'll give us her telephone number, and most of the time it's a cell phone number. And they'll wants to know who she was talking to and when," White said.

White finds out who she's been talking to by using a Florida based company. They only deal with private investigators. But dozens of websites like and will give out that same kind of information, to anyone willing to pay the price.

These companies commonly use what's called pretexting to get the information they're customers are requesting. Basically, they'll pretend to be the cell phone owner, and trick the company into giving out all of your personal information.

Frank Merriman with Cingular Wireless told us, "We believe it's illegal. The many companies out there that are doing this, we're calling them data burglars."

On January 13th, Cingular was able to get a temporary restraining order to try and stop these internet companies. But is it really working?

Merriman said, "I think if you go to their website, you would see, they have a statement indicating that they are not able to provide any information on Cingular customers."

At you can see that statement...

But at, they still claim to be able to access anyone's cell phone records...maybe even your's.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting.

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