Last week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the creation of a new Privacy and Data Protection Task Force (the “Task Force”) to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to protecting consumer data and ensuring that the telecommunications industry remains secure from threat actors.
The Task Force will be led by Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal and include staff with enforcement, data breach, equipment authorization, and undersea cable experience. According to the Task Force webpage, it will “address the problems that erode the public’s trust in data protection,” including service provide obligations and supply chain risks.
The creation of the Task Force follows a series of FCC actions in recent years focusing on data privacy and security. For example, in September 2021 the FCC initiated a rulemaking aimed at strengthening protections related to SIM-swapping and fraud. Earlier that year, the FCC released the first-ever Covered List of communications and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security as required under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act. More recently, in January 2023, the FCC launched a rulemaking to strengthen the rules related to data breach reporting requirements.