The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined two jointly owned American telecom companies, TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc., $10 million this past week after they failed to properly protect users' personal information.
The Social Security numbers, names, addresses, and driver's license numbers of up to 305,000 customers were stored on unprotected servers that could be accessed remotely around the world, according to the FCC's press release.
The personal information was available online from September 2012 through April 2013. The companies, after learning of the breach, failed to notify their customers, which prevented them from opting into identify fraud protection.
In its first data security case and largest privacy action, FCC alleges that the carriers violated the Communications Act by failing to protect their users' information and that they lacked “even the most basic and readily available technologies and security features.”