Bridging the Gap: Rhetoric of Telecommunications Compliance Policies


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As the telecommunications industry expanded and grew since the invention of the telephone, the U.S. Congress has passed several privacy laws to protect consumer’s personally identifiable information that telecommunications providers collect during the regular course of their business, but they have also passed several laws and regulations that require compliance with legally requested live and stored personally identifiable information from law enforcement. Telecommunications providers struggle with communicating their legally required compliance with law enforcement requests while also communicating their measures to protect their customers’ privacy and personally identifiable information. To evaluate the balance between these two conflicting requirements, this study analyzes the rhetoric of telecommunications providers’ legal compliance policies and discusses the convoluted and often misleading language used to explain these compliance policies to their customers.