Press Release

Chairman Wheeler Unveils Plan to Protect Consumer Privacy

March 10, 2016 , , , ,

Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he is circulating a proposal to protect consumers’ data from unauthorized uses by Internet Service Providers. The proposal will be be considered by the Commission during its March 31st meeting. Chairman Wheeler also released a fact sheet outlining the basics of his proposal, and the need for strong consumer protection.

The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

 

“We applaud the Chairman for taking a decisive step to protect consumers. That he has done so despite overwhelming industry opposition shows a deep commitment to the Commission’s role as a consumer protection agency. Laws enshrining the right of consumers to enjoy safe, secure communication date back to the very earliest days of the Postal Service; and, much as access to letter carriers was at that time–and access to the telephone network was a generation ago–access to broadband Internet today is an absolutely necessary conduit for participation in modern society.

 

“This is an issue which touches the life of every connected consumer, and we are pleased to see the Chairman taking a stand on such a critical topic. While we acknowledge that the Chairman did not adopt all of the recommendations we made in our research, today’s release and the forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking represent a substantial step forward for consumer privacy. We look forward to working with the Commission to bring the rules closer in line with our proposal in order to ensure that consumers retain control over how ISPs user their data.”

You may view Chairman Wheeler's fact sheet here. For more information on the FCC’s role in protecting consumer privacy, please view our recent whitepaper, “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Competition: A Framework for Updating the Federal Communications Commission Privacy Rules for the Digital World,” here.