FCC puts data security protections on hold

Markey Fights Back After FCC Moves To Block Online Privacy Rules 11:10

"After finally gaining basic privacy protections for broadband providers past year, it's outrageous that Chairman Pai will now remove the simple rule that internet service providers must take reasonable data security measures to protect their customers' information". The two agencies will work together to achieve "a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world", they said.

Pai asked the Commission - consisting of himself, fellow Republican Michael O'Rielly, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn - to hold an emergency vote this week to enact the stay, before the rule goes into effect tomorrow, March 2.

Daniel Lyons, associate professor of law at Boston College Law School. "NTCA looks forward to working with the FCC, the FTC and other stakeholders on a common-sense approach that gives consumers information and consistent protections across their online experience". A September 2016 Pew Research Center report found that more than nine out of 10 adults (91%) agree or strongly agree consumers have lost control of their personal data and its use. The chairman said he plans to return the authority to the FTC so all players in the internet industry are subject to the same rules on protecting customer data. But in 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC of its authority over ISPs' privacy and data security practices when it adopted the Title II Order. The rules were to come into effect on Thursday.

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"Hitting the pause button on these new rules is the right thing to do", said Alex Phillips, president of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai and acting FTC Chair Maureen Ohlhausen in a joint statement said they would work to ensure a consistent privacy framework. At the same time, they have introduced proposals to weaken the ability for the FTC to protect consumer privacy as well. The stay will remain in place only until the FCC is able to rule on a petition for reconsideration of its privacy rules. "As we said in July, the FCC's new rules stray from this well established and successful privacy regime". Clyburn said that staying the internet privacy rules opens the door to further reductions in consumer protections. They have been controversial because they establish sterner requirements for wireless and broadband companies than they do for other internet firms, such as Facebook or Google, which also gather user data and are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Despite the similarities, Clyburn noted a 2016 ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that decided the FTC no longer had the authority to regulate service providers when it came to privacy issues due to their reclassification as common carriers under the Open Internet Rules. "I will fight any attempts by this anti-consumer FCC to harm or undermine the broadband privacy rules".

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