FCC votes to protect privacy of internet service customers

Broadband customers will have greater control over how their data is used

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to give broadband customers the legal right to make informed choices to protect their privacy and that of their families. With this vote, the FCC has given the American public strong broadband privacy rules, which represent a critical step in the right direction for consumer protection. Given the vast amount of information internet service providers (ISPs) can and do collect, these rules are needed, and this morning, the FCC addressed that need.  We thank Chairman Tom Wheeler and his likeminded colleagues, Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, for their strong leadership.  

The FCC’s rule places consumers in control of the information that they must share with their ISP to have a service that allows them to access the internet. The rule applies traditional communications privacy requirements to today’s most significant communications tool: broadband Internet service.

The rule protects personal information and generally requires ISPs to ask for permission before using or sharing such information for purposes other than to provide service. The rule also requires ISPs to safeguard that information and notify consumers if a breach occurs.

"Strong privacy protections increase user confidence and are essential to ensuring that the full promise of the internet can be realized," said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action. "We look forward to working with the FCC as it implements this rule without delay."

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Through multilingual consumer education materials, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy, Consumer Action empowers underrepresented consumers nationwide to assert their rights in the marketplace and financially prosper.




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