One of the biggest concerns for businesses, especially communication businesses, is protecting the privacy of clients. The struggle though, is what happens in the case of a national emergency? Should the business give up customer information to help in the case of something important, like a terrorist attack. Facebook and other companies alike have said no and have refused to give up customer information. But if there were no consequences for doing so, would a business still say no?
At a presidential telecommunications meeting held recently, the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee drafted a report that included an idea for a “Good Samaritan” framework. With a Good Samaritan framework, companies and individuals could quickly share data with the government without fear of reprisal in the case of a major event like a cyberattack, a natural disaster, or a terrorist attack. With such a framework in place, companies would be able to share customers’ personal information without having to worry against being sued by a customer who claims their privacy was unwillingly compromised.
The Benefits of a ‘Good Samaritan’ Framework
The Good Samaritan framework suggested by the telecommunication committee benefits companies and the government in a big way. Right now the government has to fight companies if they need information about clients for any official investigation. This clause would make it so in the case of a disaster, such as a cyberattack on critical infrastructure, a natural disaster, or a terrorist attack, the government or federal investigators can easily and quickly get information they need.
For telecommunication businesses, the Good Samaritan idea helps them against privacy lawsuits. If a company were to opt into the framework, they could give up client information in the event of a national disaster. And in return, the government protects them from being hit with privacy lawsuits. The framework would have specific rules that would be followed, but all in all, it seems to be provide a big relief for the government and yet protect businesses.
How the ‘Good Samaritan’ Affects Me as a Customer
Only consenting companies, groups and individuals would be participants of the Good Samaritan framework. So if you’re a customer of one of the consenting customers, just know that in the case of a national disaster or emergency, your personal information will likely be shared with the government. Information could include anything in the abundance of data that is shared and stored through telecommunications. Any information would be shared and analyzed with the hopes that it could be beneficial in response to disasters.
If privacy is a big issue for you or your company, just realize that only consenting companies would be participating in the Good Samaritan framework. So if your phone company is not involved, your data and information will not be shared. Once everything related to the Good Samaritan framework is finalized, you can decide if you want to go with a company or business that participates or not.
Source: USA Today