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By Dan Or-Hof, CIPP

A class action suit has been filed in the District Court of the central district against cellular provider Pelephone Communications Ltd. The claim alleges that Pelephone monitors short messages sent or received by subscribers and saves the content for further use, without customers’ knowledge or mindful consent. The plaintiffs claim that, in doing so, Pelephone violates subscribers' rights under the Protection of Privacy Act and the Wiretap Act. The plaintiffs also claim that Pelephone is the only cellular provider that engages in this practice, while other providers collect and monitor traffic data only, not the content of the messages. At first, Pelephone asserted the claim was without merit and that messages were stored for routine service operation purposes only. However, following reports about their practices, the company announced that it would cease storing and using the contents of users’ short messages.

Dan Or-Hof is a senior counsel at Pearl Cohen Zedek and Latzer LLP, with specific expertise in data protection and privacy law. He may be reached at dano@pczlaw.com.

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