The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The FCC has proposed a $10 Million fine against two companies that collected names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, and other proprietary information belonging to low-income Americans and stored them in two publicly accessible folders on the Internet without password protection or encryption. The FCC found that the companies: (1) violated §222(a) of the Communications Act (Act) by failing to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information that consumers provided to demonstrate eligibility for Lifeline services; and (2) violated §201(b) of the Act by failing to employ reasonable data security practices to protect consumers’ proprietary information; representing in their privacy policies that they protected customers’ personal information, when in fact they did not; and failing to notify all consumers whose personal information could have been breached by their inadequate data security policies. This is the FCC’s first data security case and is instructive as to how broadly the FCC interprets carriers’ duty to protect proprietary information that is not customer proprietary network information (CPNI). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 11/11/14.
The PUC has adopted rules addressing the selection and duties of an Eligibility Administrator to certify or recertify lifeline service eligibility. The PUC will, by order, set the date on which the Eligibility Administrator will begin operations. At that time, the Eligibility Administrator will be responsible for certifying and recertifying Lifeline customers, responding to prospective Lifeline subscribers, and making eligibility determinations. The new rules became effective October 24, 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 11/10/14.