What is CPNI?

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What is CPNI?
CPNI stands for Consumer Proprietary Network Information. It pertains to information about the subscribers that are kept by a particular telecommunications company. Data kept by these phone companies usually include the services used by the subscribers and how much they paid for them.

Though the law allows telecommunication companies to gather information from their own subscribers, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 with FCC clarifications does not allow the use of this gathered information without the consent from the subscribers. Information should also not be used in convincing existing subscribers to avail of new services. The telecommunications company is not allowed either to use subscriber info for marketing reasons like in cases when the subscriber opts to transfer to another company or provider.

Much of the information kept by telecommunications companies usually includes the call details. This pertains to call location, time and duration of call, and the details of the person called. The product and service used by the subscriber is also recorded along with the amount spent for that service. Basic information is also kept like the telephone type the subscriber is using, existing or recent phone charges, service class, billing records including those of local and international calls, optional services availed, directory assistance charges, and even call patterns. The subscriber’s name, address, and phone number are kept private between the subscriber and telecommunications company and are not part of CPNI.

It is important to note and remember that CPNI is allowed by law to collect and gather information in creating directories. Sharing of information is always with consent though, so the choice will always be with the subscribers. In cases where a subscriber already granted permission to share his/her own data with a particular telecommunications company, he/she will always have the option to withdraw such consent, and the company is obliged to grant such request.

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