FCC Consumer Advisory Committee ends year with consumer privacy and disabled access recommendations

The Federal Communication Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee held its final meeting of the year October 20.  New Media Rights is a member of the Consumer Advisory Committee, and we are part of the Consumer Empowerment, IP Transition, and Broadband (as co-chair) Working Groups.

In our final meeting, the group passed two important recommendations,

1) Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security

The Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security provides the FCC with guidance on how it can provide leadership to ensure consumers have the information they need to make meaningful choices about their privacy, to encourage innovation in mobile device security, and to make sure companies adhere to best practices in protecting consumer's privacy, safety, and security when they are online using a mobile device.

2) Recommendation Regarding Access for Eligible Individuals with Disabilities to Lifeline Service

This recommendation encourages the FCC to take direct steps to make sure that the expansion of Lifeline to mobile devices includes accessible devices for the disabled.

Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security
New Media Rights took part in drafting the Mobile Device Security recommendation.  You can view the whole recommendation here, or view an excerpt below regarding our specific recommendations.

"... the Consumer Advisory Committee recommends that the Federal Communications Commission consider the following measures to increase consumer understanding and interest in mobile device security:

1.     Convening a workshop focused on mobile device security and privacy best practices to assist the FCC in developing consumer advisories and education resources;

2.     Hosting a “Data Jam” type event with a theme of mobile device security and privacy best practices;

3.     Enhancing the existing FCC Security Checker (http://www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security) web interface to include:

preselecting the OS when accessed from a mobile device

adding more detailed tutorials to explain how to adjust the settings

including accessible video tutorials;

4.     Continuing to work with CTIA, device manufacturers, carriers, and OS developers to improve the consumer experience and usability as it relates to security- and privacy-enhancing techniques;

5.     Coordinating carefully planned and funded Public Service Announcement campaigns aimed at educating consumers on device security and privacy;

6.     Encouraging innovation in mobile device security and privacy;

7.     Developing new FCC-hosted education materials on specific topics. These topics could include but are not limited to: mobile payment security best practices, the importance of two factor authentication, security tips when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, and the relationship between security and accessibility;

8.     Utilizing the FCC Complaint Call Center in Gettysburg and web complaint submission process to direct consumers to existing FCC educational resources on mobile device security and privacy;

9.     Considering any recommendations put forth by the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council and its Cyber Security Working Group on these topics."

This follows previous work at the FCC Consumer Advisory.  Two other recommendations we're particularly proud of this year are a) a recommendation aimed at ensuring libraries and students have access to the internet through E-rate reform, and b) a recommendation on improving the openness and transparency of complaint data, while ensuring consumer privacy at the FCC.  The FCC is set to release improved complaint data before the end of the year.

New Media Rights looks forward to being part of the next FCC Consumer Advisory Committee, which will begin its new term in Spring of 2015.


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