The FCC wants to make some big changes to data breach reporting

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed its plan to change rules on how businesses report both data breaches and data leaks to their customers and the federal government.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel has introduced a proposed rule-making notice (NPRM) that will begin the process of changing government agency rules for notification customers and federal law enforcement about data breaches.


Rosenworcel explained in a press release that due to the increasing frequency of breaches and leaks it shared its new NPRM with colleagues at the FCC, saying:

“Current law already requires telecommunications carriers to protect the privacy and security of sensitive customer information. But these rules need to be updated to address the evolving nature of data breaches and the real-time threat to affected consumers.” Customers deserve protection against increased frequency, sophistication and scale of these data leaks, and consequences that can last for years after personal information is exposed. I better protect consumers, enhance security and I look forward to joining my colleagues to take a fresh look at our data breach reporting rules to reduce the impact of future breaches.

Update Violation Notification Requirements

Rosenworcel’s proposal outlines several updates to the FCC’s existing rules on how businesses notify customers and government agencies about breaches.

The first and potentially most important of which is that the current seven business day mandatory waiting period to notify customers of the breach will end. If the proposal is accepted, it would mean that consumers would have more time to change their passwords and even invest in identity theft protection services before those responsible for breaches would have their against using your data.

Also, the proposal will expand customer protection by requiring businesses to notify consumers about unintentional breaches or data leaks. This can put additional pressure on companies to properly secure their data as their business may be affected by news that they have left databases unsecured online. Finally, Rosenworcel’s proposal would require mobile carriers to notify the FCC of all reportable breaches to both the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.

The FCC’s next open meeting is scheduled for later this month and we’ll have to wait until the government agency approves the new data breach and data leakage rules proposed by Rosenworcel.

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