Tag Archives: FCC

Broadband Industry: It’s Unfair If Facebook Can Collect Your Data, But AT&T Can’t

by Kate Cox, Consumerist

Later this week, the Federal Communications Commission will be voting on a proposal intended to protect some of your personal data from being shared by your Internet service provider, by requiring that the ISP first get your permission. … ISPs are the conduit for everything you do online, meaning they have access to a lot of potentially sensitive information about you … data about what sites you visit. When. For how long … Read More ›

Proposed FCC Rules Would Limit How Internet Service Providers Can Use Your Data

by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

walking smartphone aps illustration

“Simply by using the Internet, you have no choice but to share large amounts of personal information with your broadband provider,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in an article on the Huffington Post. “You have a right to know what information is being collected about you and how that information is being used. … If you have a mobile device, your provider can track your physical location throughout the day in real time. … The bottom line is that it’s your data,” he said. “How it’s used and shared should be your choice.” Read More ›

FCC Proposes Expanding ‘Obamaphone’ To Internet

by Tom Risen, U.S. News & World Report

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Tuesday explained his proposal to expand the Lifeline program aims to assist some of the 64 million Americans who have difficulty affording Internet access. … “Internet access has become a pre-requisite for full participation in our economy and our society, but nearly one in five Americans is still not benefitting from the opportunities made possible by the most powerful and pervasive platform in history,” [Wheeler wrote.] Though often called “Obamaphone” by its critics, the Lifeline program was launched in 1985 by Ronald Reagan’s administration and offered a $9.25-per-month subsidy to help low-income Americans pay for landline phones. Read More ›

FCC Cracks Down On Verizon Wireless For Using ‘Supercookies’

by Andrea Peterson, Washington Post

The practice came to the public’s attention in late 2014, when it received criticism from privacy advocates who called the code a “supercookie” because it was almost impossible for users to avoid. … Last January, researcher Jonathan Mayer revealed evidence that others could hijack the supercookie for their own purposes: An online advertising company called Turn was using the codes to help follow people around online, he said. Turn used the supercookie to “respawn” its traditional cookies — even if users took steps to protect their privacy by removing the cookies. Read More ›

CFC, Other Groups Urge FCC To Protect Personal Privacy From Internet, Telecom and Cable Companies

A young mixed race woman types on her laptop computer while she is being watched by a giant eye on the laptop screen.

The letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler rejects the looser regulatory framework advocated by broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). The ISPs’ approach relies in large part on existing Federal Trade Commission rules that have done little to restrain ISPs’ aggressive mining of their subscribers’ data for marketing purposes, the consumer and privacy groups warn. ISPs such as Verizon, Comcast and Cox can exploit the personal data they amass on Web surfers, cable and streaming television viewers and smartphone users – not just marketing to their own customers but also selling the information to third parties. Read More ›

FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan Alarms Critics, But It’s Nothing New

by David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times

globe abd mouse

“For more than 20 years, wireless phone companies have not only survived but thrived under similar FCC rules for voice communication,” said Emily Rusch, executive director of the California Public Interest Research Group. “The FCC’s new proposal on broadband protects an open Internet for all consumers.” … “The phone and cable companies want to dictate terms to content providers,” said Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network, a San Francisco advocacy group. “They want to call all the shots.” Read More ›

FCC Launches New, User-Friendly Help And Complaints Site For Consumers

by Kate Cox, Consumerist

fcc logo

Delara Derakhashani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “This site will make it easier for people to file and track complaints about problems like annoying robocalls and fraudulent charges, and it will help the FCC spot emerging trends in the marketplace. This is a one-stop shop for consumers, and it’s a real improvement over the old system where forms and information were spread out and hard to find.” Read More ›

AT&T to Pay $105 Million over Unlawful Billing

by Edward Wyatt, The New York Times

AT&T Mobility, one of the country’s largest mobile phone companies, agreed to pay $80 million to the Federal Trade Commission to provide refunds to customers who were billed “hundreds of millions of dollars” in unauthorized charges for items including ringtones and text messages with love tips and horoscopes. In addition, AT&T will pay $20 million in penalties and fees to 50 states and the District of Columbia and a $5 million penalty to the Federal Communications Commission for the practices, known as mobile cramming. Read More ›

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