NCTA: FCC broadband privacy bill 'mistakes a good headline for actual headway'

The NCTA criticized a divided decision today by FCC commissioners to approve a proposal reforming privacy regulations for Internet service providers. 

"Today's FCC action unfortunately mistakes a good headline for actual headway in advancing consistent standards of privacy protection and fair competition. Under the FCC's proposal, ISPs would have far more onerous requirements than the ones imposed on other large online entities that have access to a wider range of user information than ISPs," said the National Cable Telecommunications Association, in a statement. 

"Recently, a cross-section of the broadband industry put forward a technology-neutral privacy framework guided by principles of transparency, data security, and consumer choice," the NCTA added. "In contrast, today's FCC proposal will only lead to greater consumer confusion about how their online data is protected, rather than furthering an approach grounded in greater consistency and fairness among all Internet participants. As broadband providers long committed to protecting the privacy of our customers, we hope that a more considered review of the facts and the potential negative consequences of its proposal will convince the Commission to move in a different direction."

On Thursday, FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to advance a proposal intended to ensure the privacy of Internet users by barring providers from collecting user data without consent.

The proposal would require Internet service providers to obtain consumer consent, disclose data collection, protect personal information and report breaches. It would not, however, bar any data collection practices.

"It's the consumers' information and the consumer should have the right to determine how it's used," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said.

For more:
- read this Reuters story

Related articles:
Moody's: FCC's privacy proposal would 'handicap' cable operators
NCTA: Wheeler's ISP privacy proposal 'at odds' with requirements on 'other online entities'

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