Press Release Broadband Privacy

Public Knowledge Opposes FCC’s Stay of Data Security Regulation from Privacy Rules

March 1, 2017 , , ,

Today, the Federal Communications Commission issued a stay of the data security regulation developed in last year’s broadband privacy rules. Public Knowledge maintains that Americans have a right to online privacy and should have control over their own data, from what gets collected to how that information is used.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“After finally gaining basic privacy protections for broadband providers last year, it’s outrageous that Chairman Pai will now remove the simple rule that internet service providers must take reasonable data security measures to protect their customers’ information. This is not a controversial requirement.

“This elimination of basic data security rules gives ISPs a free ride while online services and other edge providers are still required to take reasonable measures to protect their customers’ information under the FTC’s framework. That is not a level playing field. It creates a huge gap in consumer protections where websites have data security requirements, while ISPs with a direct customer relationship do not. ISPs collect all kinds of personal information, including social security numbers, personal addresses, web browsing history, and even location information from your mobile device. The responsibility to keep this information secure is the responsibility of broadband providers — not the subscribers themselves.

“Some Congressional leaders are already threatening to repeal the entire broadband privacy rule using the Congressional Review Act which prevents the FCC from ever creating privacy rules in the future. At the same time, they have introduced proposals to weaken the ability for the FTC to protect consumer privacy as well.

“Americans must resist this total assault on their right to choose to keep their personal communication information private. It has been a core value of communications networks since the early days of telephone service and should not be removed in the internet age.”

You may join the discussion at #ConsumersFirst.