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Letter: It’s time for corporations to protect their customers

It’s time for corporations to protect their customers

While I applaud the action of the Federal Communications Commission and Chairman Tom Wheeler in their decision to fine AT&T for not protecting the personal information of thousands of customers, I have to ask: When will these telecommunication giants and other businesses that have call centers overseas be able to assure their customers that the information they submit – to open an account, purchase a phone or place an order online – will be protected?

If the type of behavior that led to this breach were to happen in the United States, someone would have been arrested. For AT&T to say that it “changed their policies, and strengthened their operations” doesn’t seem like enough to me.

Why does it have a call center overseas to begin with? To increase its profit margin, that’s why. Why did the “overseas employees” sell the information to a third party? Because AT&T is probably paying them a dollar a day, that’s why.

If the public calls upon the corporations that have call centers overseas to bring jobs back to this country, where there are laws and regulations, their response will be: “We will have to pass those costs on to the consumer.” God forbid they make a few dollars less in profit to protect their customers’ information.

When the FCC decided that the Internet is an essential service and should be treated like a utility, AT&T and Verizon filed a lawsuit almost immediately. They made sure that their interests were protected. What about the consumers’ interests? Bring the work back!

John Mudie

Executive Vice President

CWA Local 1122, Buffalo