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Electronic Communications Privacy Act Of 1986

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986

Definition

Prohibits wire or electronic service providers from releasing information regarding customers' communications, unless the release is specifically authorized by a court order, subpoena, warrant, or other exception. Improperly releasing such information can result in the provider being ordered to pay penalties. However, ECPA provides a safe harbor for service providers that improperly release information in good faith reliance on a court order, subpoena, or warrant.

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