NCTA, ACA join ISP groups in asking for stay on FCC privacy rules

Ajit Pai (FCC)
Cable industry groups are joining USTelecom, CTIA and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association to call for a stay on broadband privacy rules. (Image: FCC)

The NCTA and ACA have joined a number of other groups representing internet service providers in asking the FCC to stay (PDF) broadband privacy regulations put in place under the commission's former Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler last year. 

“Today, associations representing virtually all of the leading U.S. internet service providers filed a petition asking the FCC to stay unnecessarily restrictive and destructive broadband privacy rules recently adopted by the FCC, while at the same time releasing detailed and comprehensive principles reiterating ISPs’ commitment to protecting their customers’ privacy online,” read a statement released Friday by the group.

“These principles include specific policies on transparency, choice, security, and notifications in the case of a data breach,” the group added. “They reaffirm and restate the ISPs’ longstanding, pro-consumer privacy practices based on the highly respected FTC framework that has protected internet users for years and provided the flexibility necessary to innovate new product solutions to enhance consumers’ online experiences.”

Groups joining the NCTA and American Cable Association in the petition included USTelecom, the wireless industry-focused CTIA and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association.

The FCC passed the rules last year on a 3-2 vote across party lines. Now that those party lines have skewed to a Republican majority under new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the ISP-representative groups are aggressively seeking redress.

“Cable ISPs know well the trust that consumers place in them to protect their personal information. For years, they have met or exceeded the standards for privacy that were established by the Federal Trade Commission and were applicable throughout the Internet ecosystem,” Rick Chessen, NCTA’s senior VO of law and regulatory policy, said in a statement. “While these pro-privacy practices will continue, we look forward to swift action by the new FCC to reverse its recent decision that imposes new regulatory costs uniquely on ISPs and denies consumers the benefit of a consistent and effective approach to privacy protection.”