Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Investigate Verizon Customer Data Breach

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Today, reports indicate that one of Verizon’s business partners, Nice Systems, exposed millions of Verizon customer records. According to ZDNet, “as many as 14 million records of subscribers who called [Verizon’s] customer services in the past six months were found on an unprotected Amazon S3 storage server” controlled by a Nice Systems employee, with data available for public download. Public Knowledge urges the Federal Communications Commission to investigate this breach in customer data security and take appropriate enforcement action.

The following can be attributed to Yosef Getachew, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:

“Telecommunications companies have a duty to protect the personal information of their subscribers. This includes ensuring that their employees, contractors, and business partners take appropriate security measures when they handle sensitive customer data. Verizon’s failure to do this led to the exposure of millions of customer records, jeopardizing the privacy of consumers across the nation. Its apparent failure to notify customers of the data breach also leaves consumers without any ability to secure their personal information from misuse. The FCC is well within its authority to investigate Verizon’s data security breach and take appropriate enforcement action.

“Consumers entrust communications networks with their personal and sensitive information every day. When their data is compromised, they are exposed to fraud, identity theft, and other abuses. This is why the FCC’s broadband privacy rules required broadband service providers to take reasonable steps to protect customer data and notify subscribers in the event of a breach. Verizon’s recent data security lapse shows the Commission has a clear role to play in requiring all communications providers to safeguard their customers’ data.”

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