T-Mobile: FCC's Admonishment Notice Pulled

There appears to be some confusion over whether or not the FCC actually is admonishing T-Mobile for a hack of its customers' information that came through a third party, Experian, which was handling and storing the data.

According to T-Mobile, the FCC issued the admonition (B&C got a copy), then pulled it and had not re-issued it late Wednesday.

T-Mobile says that means there is no official commission action yet, and it could not comment.

According to an FCC source speaking on background, the admonishment order was pulled down to consider a procedural matter, but having been pulled, has not yet gone into affect. An admonishment is essentially a permanent black mark in your FCC file.

While the now AWOL admonishment did not propose a fine--though it suggested that was only because it couldn't due to the statute of limitations--the FCC's Enforcement Bureau "admonished" the carrier for "failing to take reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality of its customers data.

The bureau also said it was sending a signal to other carriers that they could not outsource the responsibility for data security, or in this case insecurity.

FCC spokespeople were not available for comment at press time, which was before 9 a.m. on the last day of the current FCC administration. The admonishment was not among the headlines on the web page of the Enforcement Bureau at press time.

John Eggerton

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.