AT&T Agrees to Pay $25 Million Over Privacy Debacle
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Apr 8, 2015, 12:19 PM by Eric M. Zeman
AT&T today agreed to pay the FCC a fine of $25 million in order to settle an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers. The data breaches, which took place in early 2014, exposed the personal data of some 280,000 AT&T customers at call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The FCC found that customers' names, Social Security details, and private account information were accessed by call center workers who turned around and provided those details to unauthorized third parties trafficking in stolen cell phones. In addition to the fine, AT&T agreed to notify the affected customers, provide credit score monitoring services, and improve its privacy and data security practices by appointing a senior compliance manager. "As the nation's expert agency on communications networks, the Commission cannot — and will not — stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The FCC said it has fined telecommunications providers some $50 million in the last 12 months over lapses in security and privacy policies.
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