CFC Applauds FCC Move To Protect Broadband Privacy

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, left, and CFC Executive Director Richard Holober

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, left, and CFC Executive Director Richard Holober

5/27 update: Click here to read Consumer Federation of California’s comments to the Federal Communications Commission about the broadband privacy rulemaking.

Consumer Federation of California (CFC) welcomed today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop regulations protecting the privacy of the personal information of broadband Internet consumers.

“Today’s vote is a significant advance for privacy protection. Consumers should decide whether their online activities and other personal data are shared with third-party strangers,” CFC Executive Director Richard Holober said. “It is essential that any final FCC rule prohibits broadband carriers from charging extra for privacy. Privacy is a right that should not be available only to the wealthy.”

The 3-2 vote by the FCC on Commission Chair Tom Wheeler’s framework begins a rulemaking process with opportunities for public comment. The Wheeler proposal would establish a consumer opt-out to stop the sharing of personal information with an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) marketing affiliates, and an opt-in that would give permission for an ISP to share a consumer’s personal information with other third parties.

In several cities, AT&T has initiated new high speed broadband services, where consumer can pay an extra $30 per month to stop the sharing of their personal information with strangers. “FCC privacy regulations must address these privacy schemes that discriminate against lower-income consumers,” Holober stated.

Long a leading voice for privacy, CFC recently launched Privacy Revolt!, a drive to advocate for consumers’ control over their personal information and data security.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,