FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 7, Pages 5674 to 6652, May 23 - June 15, 2012 Page: 5,746
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Commission staff has itself inquired into practices of mobile wireless service providers
with respect to information stored on their customers' mobile communications devices.14 The
staff's inquiry has focused on possible harms to consumers and on what service provider
obligations, if any, apply or should apply under section 222 and other provisions of law within
this Commission's jurisdiction.
In light of these developments, we now seek to refresh the record in this docket
concerning the practices of mobile wireless service providers with respect to information stored
on their customers' mobile communications devices. How have those practices evolved since we
collected information on this issue in the 2007 Further Notice? Are consumers given meaningful
notice and choice with respect to service providers' collection of usage-related information on
their devices? Do current practices serve the needs of service providers and consumers, and in
what ways? Do current practices raise concerns with respect to consumer privacy and data
security? How are the risks created by these practices similar to or different from those that
historically have been addressed under the Commission's CPNI rules? Have these practices
created actual data-security vulnerabilities? Should privacy and data security be greater
considerations in the design of software for mobile devices, and, if so, should the Commission
take any steps to encourage such privacy by design? What role can disclosure of service
providers' practices to wireless consumers play? To what extent should consumers bear
responsibility for the privacy and security of data in their custody or control?
Specifically with respect to section 222, we seek comment on the applicability and
significance in this context of telecommunications carriers' duty under section 222(a) to protect
customer information. Further, the definition of CPNI in section 222(h)(1) includes information
"that is made available to a carrier by the customer solely by virtue of the carrier-customer
relationship," a phrase that on its face could apply to information collected at a carrier's direction
even before it has been transmitted to the carrier. We seek comment on this analysis. We further
seek comment on which, if any, of the following factors are relevant to assessing a wireless
provider's obligations under section 222 and the Commission's implementing rules, or other
provisions of law within this Commission's jurisdiction, and in what ways:
* Whether the device is sold by the service provider;
* Whether the device is locked to the service provider's network so that it would
not work with a different service provider;
* The degree of control that the service provider exercises over the design,
integration, installation, or use of the software that collects and stores
* The service provider's role in selecting, integrating, and updating the device's
operating system, preinstalled software, and security capabilities;
* The manner in which the collected information is used;
* Whether the information pertains to voice service, data service, or both; and
14 The staff's inquiry has included not only a specific examination of mobile wireless service providers'
practices with respect to information stored on their customers' mobile communications devices, but also
a broad review of so-called "location-based services" used in wireless communications. See Location-
Based Services: An Overview of Opportunities and Other Considerations, Federal Communications
Commission Staff Report, at 6 (rel. May 25, 2012).
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 7, Pages 5674 to 6652, May 23 - June 15, 2012, book, June 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc111171/m1/89/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.