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Revelations last Friday by Vodafone about the extent to which governments request and directly access consumer data from the company’s networks have caused public outcry from privacy advocates and, according to a Bloomberg report, may prompt other telecommunications companies to disclose similar information. One wireless analyst said, “They want to put the onus back on the government and say, ‘It’s not us,’” adding, “It does put pressure on other companies to be transparent, so their customers know what’s going on.” EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said, “There should not be unregulated, direct and automatic mass access by law enforcement authorities to data of citizens held by private companies—only where there is a clear suspicion.” In a column for ZD Net, Zack Whittaker calls the privacy policies of telecoms “laughable at best.”
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