Ajit Pai criticized for failing to take #Privacy seriously – “underwhelming” response to carrier mishandling of consumer location data

Ajit Pai criticized for failing to take privacy seriously – “underwhelming” response to carrier mishandling of consumer location data

Howard Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge, cautions about a Friday FCC vote to make geolocation data more precise, warning that Ajit Pai and the FCC aren’t taking consumer privacy seriously:

Just last week, Motherboard ran a new story on how stalkers, bill collectors, and anyone else who wants highly precise real-time geolocation consumer data from carriers can usually scam it out of them by pretending to be police officers. Carriers have been required to take precautions against this kind of β€œpretexting” since 2007. Nevertheless, according to people interviewed in the article, this tactic of pretending to be a police officer is extremely common and ridiculously easy because, according to one source, β€œTelcos have been very stupid about it. They have not done due diligence.”

So you would think, with the FCC scheduled to vote this Friday on a mandate to make E911 geolocation even more precise, the FCC would (a) remind carriers that this information is super sensitive and subject to protections above and beyond the FCC’s usual privacy rules for phone information (called β€œcustomer proprietary network information,” or β€œCPNI”); (b) make it clear that the new information required will be covered by the rules adopted in the 2015 E911 Order; and (c) maybe even, in light of these ongoing revelations that carriers do not seem to be taking their privacy obligations seriously, solicit comment on how to improve privacy protections to prevent these kinds of problems from occurring in the future. But of course, as the phrase β€œyou would think” indicates, the FCC’s draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) does none of these things. The draft doesn’t even mention privacy once.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s response to the ongoing revelations of carriers mishandling of sensitive location data has been underwhelming (especially in contrast to, for example, his fulminations about robocalls or his nicely politically timed condemnation of mobile carriers’ slow response to Hurricane Michael)….

submitted by /u/LizMcIntyre to r/KeepOurNetFree
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