Two Weeks Left to Weigh In on FCC Privacy Proposal


In just over two weeks, comments will be due on the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) latest proposed regulations that would restrict broadband ISP data collection activities.  Already, interested parties from all sides have begun weighing in:

  • Industry association ACT, representing mobile application companies, called on the FCC to rethink its proposal to build a privacy regulatory program more similar to that of the Federal Trade Commission, which “is built on preventing unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”
  • Verizon has expressed concern that the FCC’s proposal is “inconsistent with both Verizon’s current advertising programs and the practices of other Internet companies.”
  • Public interest group Public Knowledge supports the FCC’s opt-in approach to use of data, and wants the FCC to take the further step of removing the concept of “implied consent” from the agency’s proposal.

Congress has also taken a role in reviewing the proposal.  This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a subcommittee hearing on the proposed regulations, putting on display a rift within the FCC itself.

While Chairman Tom Wheeler threw his support behind the proposal that he has championed through the FCC, Commissioner Ajit Pai was less enthusiastic.  Pai told the Committee, “this approach makes little sense, if any,” speaking specifically of the rules that would apply to ISPs but not to edge providers under the proposed regulatory regime.  “There is no good reason to single out ISPs for disparate treatment,” Pai said.

Despite calls from industry groups to extend the deadline, the FCC has already declined to accept first-round comments past its May 27th deadline.  Reply comments will be due on June 27th.  If you are interested in filing Comments, clients should contact the Attorney assigned to your account as soon as possible to ensure timely filing of comments.  For more information, we also invite you to contact Linda McReynolds, – 703-714-1318.

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