Light Reading: Telecom providers balk at proposal for reporting hacks 

December 11, 2023

But a group of public interest groups voiced their support for the FCC’s plans, arguing that consumers have the right to know what’s happening with their data. “We again applaud the commission’s attention to the increasingly severe and largely avoidable impacts of data breaches on phone subscribers, and we reiterate the importance of strengthening the overall security of America’s networks and protecting consumers from the harms of breaches,” Public Knowledge, Electronic Privacy Information Center and other public interest groups wrote in a recent filing to the FCC. 

…Public interest groups fired back at that complaint.  

“Commenters’ claims about the magnitude of consumer notifications that would be sent if they were required to report every time their protocols failed to safeguard their customers’ privacy is both alarming and illustrative of how grievously deficient practices are,” Public Knowledge and others wrote. “A carrier should communicate its assessment of the level of risk it thinks a given breach caused to impacted subscribers, but a carrier’s duty to disclose a breach should not depend on that internal and inherently self-interested determination. Consumers should know what information was exposed so they can make their own determination as to whether the breach is a problem for them, and this alert should not be contingent upon a minimum threshold of harm or number of impacted consumers.” 

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