FCC’s Privacy Fines Have Carriers Quaking In Their Boots

The FCC has proposed fining AT&T and Alltel the staggering amount of $100,000 for “failing to properly certify that they have safeguarded their customers’ personal call information”. Such a huge fine sends a clear message to other operators — that the FCC really couldn’t care less about how they treat customer records.

I detailed last week some of the current goings-on vis a vis privacy matters with US carriers, and the joke is still going. Since then, the top four US mobile carriers have filed suit against sites selling their customers’ call records — a tacit admission that they let the people running these sites get the records. Again, these carriers are happy to sue after the fact since it makes them look tough. But how did the records get out in the first place?

That’s the issue here: lax policies and procedures that made it easy for the wrong people to get hold of customer information. The operators don’t seem to care, and the regulators don’t either. What will make them change their mind?

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