Markey Hails FCC Rules on Broadband Privacy

Senator urged transparency, consumer consent, data security requirements in final order

Washington (October 27, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today applauded an order approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that safeguards Americans’ privacy online. Last year, the FCC reclassified broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and adopted rules to protect the open internet. This summer, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this reclassification. As part of reclassification, the Commission chose to apply Title II privacy protections to broadband. The FCC’s broadband privacy rules give consumers more power to prevent their information from being collected and used, and protect information that has been gathered. The FCC’s rules will promote transparency by requiring ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to disclose what information is being collected and how it is used, give consumers choice over how ISPs use their personal information, and promote data security and establish breach notification requirements. In July, Senator Markey led a letter with six other Senators urging the FCC to finalize the rules.

“These broadband privacy rules are the next logical step since enshrining net neutrality in our telecommunications playbook. These rules will ensure that as technology changes, our core values do not - that consumers, not corporations, have control over their personal information. Consumers should be able to know at any given time what kind of information is being collecting about them by their internet service provider and how that information is being used. I applaud Chairman Wheeler and the FCC for putting rules on the books that honor Americans’ right to privacy.”