Magazine article Information Management

FCC Seeks Stricter Privacy Rules for ISPs

Magazine article Information Management

FCC Seeks Stricter Privacy Rules for ISPs

Article excerpt

In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) negotiated a deal with Verizon in which the company agreed to pay $1.35 million for using technology that enabled marketers to track its customers' online activity, CNET reported.

The FCC, according to CNET, wants to make sure that doesn't happen again, so it has proposed regulations meant to protect private consumer information by:

* Requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain customers' permission before sharing their data with third parties

* Preventing phone companies and cable operators from repurposing and reselling what they learn about consumers' phone or TV viewing activity to marketers

At its March 31 meeting, the FCC voted to open the proposal for public comment. Chairman Tom Wheeler said actual rules likely will be voted on later this year after the comment period ends.

If approved, the proposal would put in place the strongest set of privacy regulations ever established for ISPs, according to CNET. The proposed broadband and wireless rules to give consumers more control over their data are similar to those for cable TV and telephone services, which the FCC already regulates. The rules would:

* Require ISPs to clearly disclose how personal consumer data is collected, how it's shared with third parties, and how it's used by these outside firms

* Mandate that customers actively choose to participate in the program rather than be automatically enrolled

* Direct ISPs to strengthen security practices for customer data According to CNET, the regulations would also set broadband and wireless providers apart from Internet and social media sites, including Google or Facebook, which also collect large amounts of consumer data that is used for marketing. …

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