Telephone calling records have been subject to search for a considerable time. I believe there is a legal basis is that there is no expectation of privacy of calling records,…because you are making it known to a third party, (the telephone company) by dialing the number of whom you are calling.
As I understand it…the legal precedent was set when calls were connected by human operators shoving plugs into jacks,… you had to tell the operator the number and thus you had no expectation of privacy
…she would make a paper trail of the call.
When telephones got dials, local calls were routed by large arrays of mechanical switches…(the first computer logic was based on telephone switching offices). With the exception of long distance which were still handled by human operators (who timed calls with the same timers that pool rooms used to time pool table use) no routine record was kept of telephone calls.
To obtain a record of who people called locally became something you had to seek out by installing a device called a “pen register” on the line in question. If you refer back to the earlier telephone era of human operators whom the callers had to tell the number that they were calling…only now you are dialing the number into the switching system…with no expectation of privacy
Enter into the scene ESS…electronic switching systems…controlled by computers. Calls are always super clear, easy to understand, with lots of neat new things that the telephone can do.
- You dial someone and if the line is busy…when the person you called hangs-up the system will call you back and connect you.
- You can see the number of who is calling you.
- If you are going to the gym you can have the system forward your calls to the gym’s front desk.
And many more.
All this requires the system to remember the numbers of whom you are calling,…with no expectation of privacy
Fast forward to the cell phone era:
Like wired telephones you have to tell the system (dial) the number you want to call.
The system in order to route calls it has to know which tower you are closest to (your cell phone reports to the nearest tower every six seconds)…so the system knows where you are.
All with no expectation of privacy
because originally you had to talk to human operators to route calls.