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FCC Announces the Formation of a New Privacy and Data Protection Task Force

FCC Announces the Formation of a New Privacy and Data Protection Task Force

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on 14th June announced the creation of a new Privacy and Data Protection Task Force.

This task force will be responsible for the coordination of rule-making, enforcement, and public awareness of privacy and data protection issues, including data breaches.

Led by Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal, the task force comprises professionals with enforcement, equipment authorization, data breach, and undersea cable experience.

The establishment of the Privacy And Data Protection Task Force follows a series of actions from the FCC focused on data privacy and security in recent years.

The Goal Is To Provide Public Confidence

In its announcement of the formation of the new task force, the FCC provided an outline of the approach it will take to address problems “that erodes the public’s trust in data protection”.

It will cover supply chain vulnerabilities and the potential risk to national security due to compromised supply chains.

The task force aims to build public confidence among consumers that their personal data will be protected appropriately.

The FCC has an important role to play in ensuring the privacy of consumer communications, and this team of FCC experts will lead these efforts to protect consumer privacy.Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Chairman

The task force’s approach also includes the crucial connection between supply chain integrity and privacy and data protection. The responsibilities of cable, satellite, interconnected VoIP, and telecom carrier providers are in their focus too. Ultimately, the new task force aims to take a holistic approach to protect user data.

FCC’s Actions to Address Security and Privacy Issues

The FCC has maintained a strong focus on data privacy and security in recent years.

  • Very recently, in January this year, they initiated a rulemaking aimed at strengthening the laws regarding data breach reporting requirements.
  • In September 2021, the FCC introduced a rulemaking to provide increased protection against SIM swapping and fraud.
  • Earlier in the same year, the FCC also released a Covered List of communications and services that pose an unacceptable level of risk to National Security, as required under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act.

The creation of the task force adds to the slew of actions taken by the commission to protect data privacy and security. The FCC also indicated that they’ll be addressing specific security and privacy issues in the telecommunications sector that affect US consumers besides creating the task force.

These include issues like SIM swapping, consumer data privacy on broadband networks, access to communication for domestic violence victims, etc.

Consumers and federal law enforcement will also be notified about certain data breaches across economic sectors.

The FCC will also disclose the list of telecommunications and similar services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. This will be accompanied by a reimbursement program for the removal of such untrusted equipment.

The FCC will be expanding its specialized team to investigate violations of telecommunications-related privacy and data protection laws and enforce necessary measures. New rules will continue to be made, and the existing ones will be updated as and when deemed necessary.

The FTC, which is more active in the regulation of cyber security and privacy for other businesses in other sectors, is likely to follow suit by adopting similar measures. Businesses are advised to monitor the FTC and FCC websites regularly to keep track of any new security and privacy requirements affecting their respective industries.

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