Good News! The EU Commission has put in place a process for how telecom operators need to handle incidents of online privacy breaches and identity theft. This is a massive step forward in the defence of customer data. The technical measures have been implemented to ensure all victims of customer data breaches receive equal treatment as well as a solid response from the telecom operators responsible for the privacy and safety of that data.
Here are the highlights of the new regulations:
- The national authority must be informed of the detection of a breach within 24 hours
- The types or pieces of data that were affected must be outlined, as well as what measure will be taken
- The type of data compromised must be taken into consideration when assessing whether to alert customers, i.e. financial, email data, web browsing histories etc. all impact the end user and therefore they must be notified
- A standardized form has been established across all EU member states to notify the national authority
In another bold step to help reduce the risk of mass data breaches, the EU Commission will also be incentivizing companies to encrypt personal data, thereby treating the problem before it becomes one. Guidelines for encryption techniques will be published to assist those interested in participating in the incentive driven program. If a company were to choose to encrypt personal data, they would avoid the need to notify the customers, because despite a data breach – no personal data would have been impacted.
By creating a consistent process that works for all across the board, the EU Commission is not ensuring higher security and privacy for telecom customers, but also helping to establish a stronger line of defence for cyber criminals to battle against. It’s much easier to identify the weakness when all parties are not aligned, and there is no formal process, versus finding the vulnerabilities for attack amongst a group of unified operators.
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