AT&T Inc. (T), amid pressure from shareholders and privacy advocates, says it will join Verizon Communications Inc. and start reporting requests from law-enforcement officials for customer information.
The largest U.S. phone company will begin semi-annual reports early next year on 2013 requests in the U.S. and other countries where it operates. Subsequent disclosures will follow every six months. While the information will include police and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation requests, it will leave out U.S. National Security Agency queries.
The move comes at a time when consumer-privacy advocates, some politicians and investors have been pushing for more visibility on how much Internet companies and U.S. carriers have been cooperating with government agencies on customer data.
“Protecting our customers’ information and privacy is paramount,” AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said in an e-mailed statement. “Everywhere we operate, we go to great lengths to make sure our customers’ data is safe and secure. And we do so in compliance with the laws of the country where the service is provided,” Watts said.
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