FCC Announces New “Privacy And Data Protection Task Force”

By Steven M.Millendorf, Foley & Lardner

On June 14, 2023, the FCC announced that they are creating a new Privacy and Data Protection Task Force that will be charged with coordinating rule-making, enforcement, and public awareness of privacy and data protection issues (including data breaches).

One of the goals of the new task force is to provide public confidence to consumers that their personal data will be appropriately protected and the FCC believes that they have an important role in the telecommunications sector to ensure that consumers’ privacy rights are protected and their information is adequately secured. The FCC outlined that their approach will include:

  • telecom carrier, interconnected VoIP, cable, and satellite provider responsibilities for privacy and data protection;
  • the important connection between privacy and data protection and supply chain integrity;
  • supply chain vulnerabilities;
  • the consequences of a breach in the supply chain (both to consumer privacy and entities that do not take reasonable steps to protect consumer information); and
  • potential risks to national security through compromised supply chains.

In addition to the new task force, the FCC indicated that they will be addressing some specific security and privacy issues in the telecommunications sector affecting U.S. consumers, such as:

  • SIM Swapping;
  • Access to communication for victims of domestic violence;
  • Protection of consumer data on broadband networks;
  • Notification of consumers and federal law enforcement for certain telecommunications-related breaches across economic sectors;

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