September 11, 2014

In this article, Jenner & Block Partners Mary Ellen Callahan, Samuel L. Feder and John Flynn and Associate David M. Didion examine implications of the Federal Communications Commission’s recent settlement with Verizon Communications, Inc.  The authors explain that the $7.4 million settlement followed an investigation into the company’s potential violations of the FCC’s privacy rules and was the largest pure privacy forfeiture in FCC history.  Verizon failed to notify new customers of privacy and opt-out rights before it used their personal information to market to them, contrary to FCC’s customer proprietary network information (CPNI) rules. The authors urge telecommunications carriers and voice-over-IP providers to review their CPNI policies, observing that “the significant size of this action, combined with an active enforcement trend in the FCC and elsewhere, may signal future enforcement activity by the FCC.”