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FCC Proposes $13 Million in Data Protection Fines

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On February 25, 2009 The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed $13 million in fines to 650 communications companies. The FCC has accused the cell phone, wireless and pager companies of not providing the required certified paperwork that verifies protection of customer data. 

After receiving consumer complaints about data brokers selling customer information gathered under illegal and false circumstances, the FCC increased privacy requirements in April 2007. The agency requires phone companies to have passwords set up for customers when account information is exchanged on the phone or online as well as notify customers if changes have been made to the account or the account has been accessed without customer authorization. 

Companies are required to file annual certifications of compliance with the agency. The FCC stated if companies continue to be noncompliant, then they will face increasing penalties. 

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