Can the FCC’s proposed new ISP rules succeed in protecting privacy?

11 March 2016 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chair Tom Wheeler proposed that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) “would be able to use and share customer information with their affiliates to market other communications-related services unless you “opt out” and ask them not to. All other uses and sharing of your personal data would require your affirmative “opt-in” consent.”  Wheeler’s March 10, 2016 blog posted on The Huntington Post entitled “It’s Your Data: Empowering Consumers to Protect Online Privacy” included these comments:

The information collected by the phone company about your telephone usage has long been protected information. Regulations of the [FCC] limit your phone company’s ability to repurpose and resell what it learns about your phone activity.

The same should be true for information collected by your ISP.

On March 7, 2016 the Center for Digital Democracy published its letter to the FCC about the “Consumer, civil liberties, privacy groups call on FCC to protect public’s data rights on broadband networks” on behalf of 12 privacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Privacy Information Center:

…reviewing the collection practices of ISPs across multiple platforms (including their video offerings), and urging the FCC to adopt rules that will provide meaningful protections for broadband consumers.

Stay tuned for the March 31, 2016 vote of the FCC Commissioners on these new rules.

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