The FCC Just Blocked Privacy Protections For Comcast And Verizon Customers

The FCC Just Blocked Privacy Protections For Comcast And Verizon Customers

The regulations were approved by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in October, along with several other consumer protections targeted at preserving privacy.

The rules have now been stayed temporarily, but likely indefinitely as the FCC issued its commitment to creating a more unified approach to privacy protections by working with the Federal Trade Commission.

"Two years after the FCC stripped broadband consumers of FTC privacy protections, some now express concern that the temporary delay of a rule not yet in effect will leave consumers unprotected".

Clyburn also cited a court decision previous year that hamstrung the FTC's ability to enforce privacy protections, and she argued that there is now no agency to ensure consumers' data is secure.

The FCC's 2-1 vote to stay the implementation of the agency's new data security rules continues to draw reaction from the cable community, including Charter Communications and the American Cable Association. "It has been a core value of communications networks since the early days of telephone service and should not be removed in the internet age". "This stay will allow the FCC and the FTC to take the appropriate time to harmonize any FCC privacy rules with the FTC's framework and allow innovative small businesses to focus on what they do best - serving their customers - rather than complying with undue, inconsistent regulatory requirements".

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"So going forward, we will work together to establish a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen said Wednesday in a joint statement. "After all, Americans care about the overall privacy of their information when they use the internet, and they shouldn't have to be lawyers or engineers to figure out if their information is protected differently depending on which part of the internet holds it", their statement reads. "The federal government shouldn't favor one set of companies over another - and certainly not when it comes to a marketplace as dynamic as the Internet".

Following Wednesday's vote, the Federal Communications Commission is setting aside the new internet privacy rules. She also charges it is "a proxy for gutting the Commission's duly adopted privacy rules - and it does so with very little finesse".

"These threats have instilled fear and disrupted lives throughout the United States, and Chairman Pai condemns such anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms", the statement said. "If a provider simply decides not to adequately protect a customer's information and does not notify them when a breach inevitably occurs, there will be no recompense as a matter of course", she said.

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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