U.S. Congressional briefing

Access Now congratulates FCC on passing historic broadband privacy rules

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to enact historic rules to protect the privacy of broadband internet users. The rules put common sense restrictions on how Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) Providers are able to use the sensitive information they collect about their customers.

“This is an important victory for internet users in the United States. Customers pay for access to the internet, but broadband providers have capitalized on the lack of rules to collect personal data and then sell it to make a second profit off their users. These new rules put the people back in control of their data and force the broadband providers to be more transparent about their use of data,” said Nathan White, Senior Legislative Manager at Access Now. “This victory in the United States is just the first step in protecting users around the world. We thank the FCC and Chairman Wheeler for leading on this important issue.”

The rules require opt-in consent before BIAS Providers can use or share data deemed “sensitive” — a strong and necessary protection. However, so-called “non-sensitive” private data would be subject to opt-out consent.

“Rightfully, the new FCC privacy rules require broadband providers to take steps to protect users against the far too prevalent digital security risks they face online. The constant threat of security breaches, and the lack of transparency, reduces trust and hinders the full exercise of rights online.” said Drew Mitnick, Policy Counsel at Access Now. “These new rules should send a signal to all companies about the fundamental importance of extending security protections. More work is now needed to ensure rights respecting security practices are ubiquitous across industries.”

The rules passed by the FCC should have a positive influence on global privacy standards for the delivery of broadband. Access Now continues to support congressional action to extend protections for user privacy and control of personal data.


Media Contacts

Drew Mitnick, Policy Counsel, Access Now

[email protected]