July 22, 2015

Wyden, Senators Call on FCC To Apply Privacy Protections to Broadband

Urge FCC to consider transparency, consumer consent, data security in upcoming rulemaking

Washington, D.C. – In light of the recent Open Internet order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced it will initiate a rulemaking to protect the privacy of consumers who use broadband. Today, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and seven other Senators to applaud the FCC’s plan to initiate a rulemaking and urged it to adopt strong consumer privacy protections. The letter was signed by Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

“The FCC should work to animate new forms of technology, including broadband Internet access service, with time-tested American values, including the right to privacy,” write the Senators to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “An ISP has a duty to protect the privacy of consumers who use the company’s wired and wireless infrastructure to connect to the world.” 

Specifically, the Senators urge the FCC to:

  1. Adopt a comprehensive definition of “Customer Proprietary Network Information,” which should include data pertaining to consumers’ Internet usage, online activity, and broadband service payments
  2. Ensure transparency around data collection by Internet service providers (ISPs)
  3. Require consumer consent before ISPs use and share consumer information
  4. Protect consumers’ information by requiring ISPs implement strong data security measures and notify consumers in the event of a breach
  5. Create a clear complaint process at both the FCC and ISPs for consumers who have evidence or reason to believe their privacy has been violated

A copy of the Senators’ letter to the FCC can be found HERE