The biggest difference in retention surrounds so-called cell-site data. That is information detailing a phone’s movement history via its connections to mobile phone towers while it's traveling.Also of interest: Verizon keeps "text message content" for 3-5 days, but T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint don't keep it at all.
Verizon keeps that data on a one-year rolling basis; T-Mobile for “a year or more;” Sprint up to two years, and AT&T indefinitely, from July 2008.
This information could be useful to policy makers, as the article recognizes.
The document release comes two months before the Supreme Court hears a case testing the government’s argument that it may use GPS devices to monitor a suspect’s every movement without a warrant. And the disclosure comes a month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Privacy Communications Act, an outdated law that the government has invoked to obtain, without a warrant, the data the Justice Department document describes.Stay tuned for future developments.
Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director