[JURIST] The Federal Trade Commission announced [press release] Thursday that it has reached an agreement for the settlement of pretexting charges [complaint text, PDF; news release] against Virginia-based Integrity Security & Investigation Services [corporate website]. Current federal law allows the government to only collect $2,700 in damages, the entire sum of profit that the company made from selling confidential phone records and credit card transaction reports. The settlement agreement [text, PDF] prevents Integrated Security from obtaining or selling consumers' phone records or other personal information unless authorized by law or court order. The company is barred from pretexting, or hiring others who will pretext on its behalf.
Pretexting has made headlines recently in the wake of revelations that computer company Hewlett-Packard [corporate website; JURIST news archive] used it to obtain phone records of board members, employees, and journalists while attempting to determine who was leaking information from board meetings. Charges have been filed [JURIST report] in that case. Reuters has more.