By Thomas Lenard
Published in The Hill on November 18, 2015
Earlier this month, Cox Communications agreed to pay $595,000 and enter into a seven-year consent decree with the FCC to settle a case involving a hack that exposed the data of 61 Cox customers. This was the FCC’s first privacy and data security enforcement action against a cable operator and is likely to reinforce concerns about the FCC’s new authority.
Normally, privacy and data security matters are the domain of the FTC, which has substantial experience in the area. The FCC’s Open Internet Order reclassified broadband providers as Title II common carriers, and thus shifted privacy and data security enforcement for these companies to the FCC, which has much less experience in these matters. This lack of experience shows in the FCC’s inaugural enforcement action.
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