AT&T to Pay $25M to Settle FCC Data-Privacy Probe

Calling it the largest data-privacy and security-enforcement action ever, the Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau on Wednesday said AT&T had agreed to pay $25 million in civil penalties, among other steps, to settle the its investigation into customer-information breaches in call centers located in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines.

All the of accounts accessed were for U.S. phone numbers, according to a senior FCC official, who spoke on background.

The bureau said that call-center employees had provided customer proprietary network information (CPNI) to third for the purposes of gaining access to unlock codes, which were then used for hundreds of thousands of unlock requests, likely for stolen phones. About 290,000 accounts were affected.

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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.