Urge FCC to consider transparency, consumer consent, data security in upcoming rulemaking


Washington (July 22, 2015) – In light of the recent Open Internet order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced it will initiate a rulemaking to protect the privacy of consumers who use broadband. In a letter sent today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and eight Senators applauded the FCC’s plan to initiate a rulemaking and urged it to adopt strong consumer privacy protections. The letter was signed by Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).


“The FCC should work to animate new forms of technology, including broadband Internet access service, with time-tested American values, including the right to privacy,” write the Senators to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “An ISP has a duty to protect the privacy of consumers who use the company’s wired and wireless infrastructure to connect to the world.”


Specifically, the Senators urge the FCC to:

  • Adopt a comprehensive definition of “Customer Proprietary Network Information,” which should include data pertaining to consumers’ Internet usage, online activity, and broadband service payments
  • Ensure transparency around data collection by Internet service providers (ISPs)
  • Require consumer consent before ISPs use and share consumer information
  • Protect consumers’ information by requiring ISPs implement strong data security measures and notify consumers in the event of a breach
  • Create a clear complaint process at both the FCC and ISPs for consumers who have evidence or reason to believe their privacy has been violated

A copy of the Senators’ letter to the FCC can be found HERE.