Advocates Say Verizon-Yahoo Deal Shows Need For Privacy Rules

by David McCabe, The Hill

Tony Webster/Flickr

Tony Webster/Flickr

Privacy advocates said Monday that Verizon’s $4.8 billion purchase of Yahoo’s web assets underscores the need for federal regulators to create strict new privacy rules for internet providers.

The acquisition — a sign of Verizon’s growing interest in the advertising business — comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moves toward a final vote on the hotly contested proposed rules, which would require internet providers to get permission before using their customers data for most advertising purposes.

“We certainly agree that this highlights the need to have the FCC continue to move as quickly as possible to finish its rules on broadband privacy,” said Chris Lewis, the vice president for government affairs at Public Knowledge, which has pushed for the rules.

“That’s especially important because the rules deal with how broadband providers deal with data collected through affiliated entities, so you have a company here with Verizon that you know is an internet provider but also does much more now.”

Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the purchase “reaffirms the importance of putting in regulations on network neutrality and privacy when it comes to these carriers,” echoing calls from other privacy and public interest groups.


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