If you happen to reside in the US, chances are you own a mobile subscription to one of the traditional “Big Four” of mobile carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. Having said that, have you ever wondered just the kind of sensitive data which belongs to you are kept on their side, and for how long? A recently released Justice Department internal memo reveals the data retention policies of all four, and as you can tell in the breakdown above, there are some rather interesting statistics that you can derive from.

Information such as customer IP addresses, call logs, text messages and web surfing habits are all retained for a certain timeframe, and the length of time greatly differs from one carrier to another depending on the kind of data. Verizon loves keeping the list of people you’ve texted for a year, but T-Mobile can peer back into the crystal ball for 5 years, while AT&T has enough space for seven years.

While this might make Verizon appear seemingly look like having the most privacy-friendly policy, they are the only ones who actually retain what you’ve sent – for five days, while T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint don’t bother with what you’ve texted.

Interesting bit of information to digest, no?

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