Safe Connections Act: FCC implements Line Separation and Call Log Privacy Rules
At its November 15th Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began the process of implementing the Safe Connections Act of 2022. The new rules adopted under the Supporting Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence Order will help survivors separate mobile lines from accounts that include their abusers and protect the privacy of calls made by survivors to domestic abuse hotlines.
Mobile Service Providers – including Wireless Resellers – will be required to:
- Process a survivor’s line separation request from a shared mobile service contract under which a survivor and abuser each use a line.
- Establish a secure remote means for a survivor to submit all information required to effectuate a line separation request (accessible by survivors with disabilities).
- Treat any information submitted by a survivor in connection with a line separation request as confidential.
- Train employees who will interact with survivors on how to assist on the sensitive nature of the interactions.
- Make information about the line separation options and processes readily available to consumers.
Call Log Privacy
To protect the privacy of calls and text messages to specific domestic violence hotlines, all service providers must:
- Omit, from consumer-facing logs and records, calls and text messages to covered hotlines listed in the FCC-established central database.
- Exclude calls or texts to hotlines from consumer-facing call logs.
- Maintain internal records of calls and text messages excluded from call and text logs.
- Download the initial and subsequent database of hotline numbers to omit from call and text message logs.
- Download database updates monthly within 15 days of the release of the new monthly updates.
The compliance date for the line separate rules will be six months after the effective date of the Report and Order.
Large carriers must comply with the Call Log Privacy rules within 12 months and small service providers must comply 18 months from the date of publication of this Order in the Federal Register.
For questions about these new requirements, contact Bridget Alexander White or call 301-459-7590.