Consumer Federation Of California Applauds FCC Move To Protect Broadband Privacy

SACRAMENTO – Consumer Federation of California (CFC) welcomed today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop regulations protecting the privacy of 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 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.

For more information, click here for the FCC’s press release on the vote.

The nonprofit Consumer Federation of California, sponsor of Privacy Revolt! has been a powerful voice for consumers since 1960.