Privacy

Tell Congress to Pass the Safe Connections Act and Make It Easier for Survivors to Escape Domestic Violence

Congress

We all know that, in the 21st century, it is difficult to lead a life without a cell phone. It is also difficult to change your number—the one all your friends, family, doctors, children’s schools, and so on—have for you. It’s especially difficult to do these things if you are trying to leave an abusive situation where your abuser is in control of your family plan and therefore has access to your phone records. Thankfully, the Safe Connections Act (S. 120) would change that.

Tell Congress: survivors of domestic violence should have an easy way to separate their phones from their abusers’ control.

This January, Senators Brian Schatz, Deb Fischer, Richard Blumenthal, Rick Scott, and Jacky Rosen introduced The Safe Connections Act (S. 120), which would make it easier for survivors to separate their phone line from a family plan while keeping their own phone number. It would also require the FCC to create rules to protect the privacy of the people seeking this protection. There is little reason that telecommunications carriers—AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and the like—which are already required to make numbers portable when users want to change carriers, cannot replicate such a seamless process when a paying customer wants to move an account within the same carrier. If anything, it should be as easy as possible for survivors to get this kind of service.

Our cell phones contain a vast amount of information about our lives, including the calls and texts we make and receive, including any made to domestic abuse hotlines and services. Allowing an abuser to keep access to such information when someone is trying to leave their control makes no sense.

Giving survivors more tools to protect their privacy, leave abusive situations, and get on with their lives are worthy endeavors. The Safe Connections Act provides a framework to serve these ends. Tell your senators and your representative to support the Safe Connections Act.

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