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FCC, FTC seek data about security of mobile devices

U.S. regulators are seeking information from mobile devicemanufacturers and carriers about how they issue security updates to addressvulnerabilities in mobile devices.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on May 9 sent letters toeight manufacturers asking for information such as detailed data on thespecific mobile devices they have sold since August 2013 and thevulnerabilities that have affected those devices. The regulator also requesteddetails about any fixes devised for these vulnerabilities.

The eight companies include , Blackberry Corp.,Alphabet Inc. unitGoogle Inc., HTCAmerica Inc., LG Electronics USA Inc., Microsoft Corp., Motorola Mobility LLC and SamsungElectronics America Inc.

On the same day, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunication Bureausaid it has also sent letters to mobile carriers seeking details about theirprocesses for security updates on mobile devices.

"As consumers and businesses turn to mobile broadbandto conduct ever more of their daily activities, the safety of theircommunications and other personal information is directly related to thesecurity of the devices they use," the FCC said, noting the "growingnumber of vulnerabilities associated with mobile operating systems thatthreaten the security and integrity of a user's device."

The FCC highlighted one risk in particular with Google'sAndroid operating system that could affect nearly 1 billion devices across theglobe.

The regulator cautioned that "consumers may be leftunprotected, for long periods of time or even indefinitely, by any delays inpatching vulnerabilities once they are discovered."