When people use the internet, they provide a vast amount of personal, often sensitive information. Ill-protected personal information can result in anything from predatory advertising to fraud. Consumers need strong rules and aggressive agencies to protect their online privacy. The Federal Communications Commission is the agency in charge of implementing and enforcing communications law and regulations. The FCC is ideally situated to protect consumers’ information on communications networks, considering its success in protecting subscribers’ privacy in other areas such as telephone and cable networks.
Public Knowledge will host a press briefing Wednesday, June 8 at noon ET featuring public interest privacy experts who support the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to broaden privacy protections online. Broadband providers enjoy a comprehensive view of consumer data, and may be tempted to use it in anticompetitive ways or violate a customer’s privacy. This proposal marks a significant step forward in the FCC’s commitment to follow its congressional mandate by extending the same protections offered to telephone service subscribers to broadband customers.
Recently, Public Knowledge submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on protecting the privacy of broadband customers. The NPRM seeks to examine privacy rules governing the use of personal consumer data by broadband internet access service providers.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the FCC’s recent privacy rulemaking, you’ve probably heard its opponents claim that any regulation (no matter how minor, apparently) will create “distortions in the market” that would put broadband internet service providers (or BIASes) at a disadvantage. What market is that, you ask? Yeah, we’re not sure either.