FCC Becomes Latest Agency to Increase Consumer Privacy and Data Security Enforcement

    View Author May 2015

    As attention and related widespread concerns about data security and exposure of sensitive private consumer information grows around the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has joined the array of federal agencies using their enforcement tools to address these issues. While the Communications Act (Act) for many years has afforded confidentiality protections for the details of a consumer’s phone bill, over the last year, the FCC – led in particular by its Enforcement Bureau – has demonstrated an increased willingness to more broadly and aggressively protect “the sensitive personal information of American consumers from misappropriation, breach, and unlawful disclosure.” This trend continued when the Bureau issued an Enforcement Advisory on May 20, 2015, providing initial guidance regarding the protection of personal and proprietary information by retail broadband internet access providers (ISPs).