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The FCC proposes new data breach rules for phone companies

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Phone companies could have to follow new rules about how they notify customers and the government following a data breach if a proposal from the Federal Communication Commission’s chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel passes. The notice of proposed rulemaking, released on Wednesday, cites the “increasing frequency and severity of security breaches involving customer information” as a risk to consumers.

The current rules give telecommunication providers seven business days to notify the FBI and Secret Service of data breaches that leak customer proprietary network information, or CPNI. In most cases, the company cannot notify customers about the breach until seven business days after information has been relayed to federal law enforcement. The proposal suggests doing away with that mandatory waiting period and adds the FCC to the list of agencies that companies will have to notify in the case of a data breach. It also says ...

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