Published: Пт, Марта 03, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

FCC sets aside new Net data privacy rule

FCC sets aside new Net data privacy rule

In a 2-1 vote that went along party lines, the USA communications agency voted this week to kill a part of the privacy regulations passed past year.

The rules, put forth last fall under the Obama administration, require internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T to get explicit permission before collecting online users' personal data - such as web browsing histories and app usage. The stay will remain in place until the Commission decides on alternative action.

Clyburn said there is "little daylight" between the rules adopted by the FCC in October 2016 under chairman Tom Wheeler and the FTC standards.

When asked for the FCC's reaction to Schumer's inquiry, agency spokesman Neil Grace on Wednesday issued a statement to Newsday saying the chairman "is very concerned about the bomb threats being made to Jewish Community Centers across our country".

When the FCC passed its landmark net neutrality rules two years ago this week, it reclassified internet service providers as common carriers. The chairman said he plans to return the authority to the FTC so all players in the internet industry are subject to the same rules on protecting customer data.

The Federal Communications Commission is halting the new broadband privacy rules from taking effect this week.

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But Laura MacCleery, a vice president at Consumer Reports magazine, called it "a troubling first step towards unraveling critical, pro-consumer online privacy protections".

The FCC's sole Democratic Commissioner (out of three), Mignon Clyburn, voted unsuccessfully to uphold the privacy rules. "A consistent and uniform framework that covers the entire Internet ecosystem, and is enforced by one government entity, is the most effective way to protect the privacy rights of consumers".

"Some Congressional leaders are already threatening to repeal the entire broadband privacy rule using the Congressional Review Act which prevents the FCC from ever creating privacy rules in the future".

Internet service providers hailed the decision. Previously, broadband providers released a voluntary set of "ISP Privacy Principles" that fall more in line with the Federal Trade Commission's privacy framework. She called the move a "proxy" for gutting the FCC's full set of privacy regulation. "What it actually does is permit providers to shift the costs for corporate negligence onto private citizens", she wrote. Pai and Ohlhausen's joint statement is available here. "As service providers, our companies are committed to providing a quality Internet experience that protects the security of personal information, and we will continue to operate with that commitment as the FTC and FCC pursue further action to harmonize online privacy protections".

However, some in Congress aim to repeal the FCC's privacy rules in their entirety, while weakening the FTC's authority, said Chris Lewis, vice president of public interest group Public Knowledge.

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