FCC Proposal: Internet Providers Must Ask To Share Your Data

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A new FCC privacy proposal up for a vote this month will require broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast to get your permission before sharing with advertisers the websites or apps you've been using.

The Federal Communication Commission has changed its broadband-privacy plan since it was initially proposed in March. The FCC explained the revision Thursday and plans to vote on it Oct. 27.

A consumer group likes the plan.

“Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Frontier Communications have a unique window into our online lives because they connect us to the Internet. ISPs must not be able to use the vast amount of information that they can get about our online lives simply because they provide the connection for any other purpose without our explicit permission,” said John Simpson, California-based Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director.

The wireless and cable industries had complained that under the initial plan, they would be more heavily regulated than digital-ad behemoths like Google and Facebook, who are monitored by a different agency, the Federal Trade Commission.

The revised proposal says broadband providers don't have to get permission from customers ahead of time to use some information deemed "non-sensitive," like names and addresses. Customers can still say no.

“Ultimately we also need privacy regulations covering so-called ‘edge providers’ like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter,” said Simpson. “Nonetheless the FCC’s proposed broadband privacy regulations are critical step in the right direction.”

Read a fact sheet about the proposed FCC rules at:


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