Remarks of Commissioner Starks at ABA/FCBA Privacy and Data Security Symposium

We won’t fully bring the benefits to all Americans if we’re advocating for bringing a connection into their homes that is insecure or unsafe. That means we cannot allow data security and privacy to become luxury goods available only to the elite. On the security side, I’ve been vocal about the need to secure our communications networks. In particular, my Find It, Fix It, Fund It initiative brought national attention to the urgent need to support small and rural companies as they work to make their networks more secure by addressing the problem of equipment from untrustworthy vendors in our wireless networks. We need a similar commitment to addressing privacy issues. 

The Federal Communications Commission also needs to do more to protect Americans who benefit from the Lifeline program, the only federal program specifically designed to connect low-income people to the modern communications networks many of us take for granted. I was outraged to learn that some Lifeline customers have received phones loaded with malware that allows outside parties  to install programs without the owners’ knowledge or consent. The FCC needs to do a better job of ensuring that Lifeline recipients get the same level of privacy protections as other

Starks Remarks at ABA/FCBA Privacy and Data Security Symposium