By Chris Donkin

Operators outline privacy wish list

Regulatory affairs officers from Verizon and T-Mobile US called for flexible, consistent and nationwide data privacy laws, with transparency for consumers cited as a key concern.

During a session making the case for federal consumer data privacy laws, Verizon SVP for state government and regulatory affairs Lydia Pulley (pictured, far right) said the operator was keen to see nationwide legislation put into place.

“You can see what consumers actually want, they want to be protected,” she said. “Federal legislation should be consistent. From a consumer perspective, they are concerned about the data not necessarily where it has been collected from – social media, search engine or retailer. Whatever the rule is it should be consistent across industries.”

Pulley added rules put into place should also be flexible given the levels of sensitivity of different types of data and ever changing technological landscape.

“We [also] think it would be super important to for companies to be transparent,” she added. “Consumers need to know quite simply what data is being collected and how it’s being used. That’s not necessarily true right now.”

Her comments were backed by T-Mobile director of privacy and security for federal regulatory affairs Michelle Rosenthal (pictured, left), who added there should also be a greater number of staff employed by the US Federal Trade Commission to ensure adequate enforcement of new regulations.

She added there was also a need in any law to “incentivise companies to de-identify and aggregate data,” calling it “good data hygiene”.