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Privacy & Data

CDT Opposes Reconsideration of FCC Broadband Privacy Rules

The broadband privacy rules fulfill the Commission’s Congressional mandate to ensure that common carriers protect the confidentiality of their customers’ information. The rules fill a critical gap in information privacy and security by extending protections to broadband internet access services (BIAS) subscribers that already exist for other common carriers. The Commission is the only agency with Congressional authority to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) protect the confidentiality of the vast amounts of data they collect as a result of providing internet access. Reversing the broadband privacy rules would create enormous uncertainty regarding privacy and security protections for the sensitive personal information broadband customers must share with their ISPs.

The Commission created a balanced set of rules that give consumers meaningful control over their personal information while maintaining flexibility for telecommunications companies to use data for improving services, crafting new technologies, and advertising. The rules, which rely on informed consent, are grounded in established notice-and-choice processes and in the language of Section 222. Petitioners’ efforts to weaken the rules are not supported by the record and contradict the Commission’s own guidance. They would expose internet users to unnecessary privacy and data security risks and undermine consumer trust in the broadband market.