FCC to hold vote on ISP customer data on 27 October

FCC to hold vote on ISP customer data on 27 October

The Federal Communications Commission is set to impose privacy regulations that will force broadband providers to get customer permission before using and sharing geolocation, browsing history and other personal information.

Despite industry opposition to the proposals, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has schedule a final vote on the regulations to take place on 27 October.

Broadband providers have argued that the proposals mean they will be subject to much stronger privacy rules that internet and OTT service providers such as Google and Facebook. But the FCC claims US customers should be given the ability to make informed decisions about their own privacy.

"Seldom do we stop to realize that our Internet Service Provider -- or ISP -- is collecting information about us every time we go online," Wheeler wrote in a blog post. "The problem is, there are currently no rules in place outlining how ISPs may use and share their customers’ personal information."

The new rules will mean ISPs must notify customers about the types of data they are collecting, and inform them how it is being used or shared, and whom it may be shared to.

The providers will also take on some responsibility for protecting that data, and will be responsible for informing customers of data breaches when there is a reasonable likelihood of customer hard, within 30 days. They will be required to report all breaches to the regulator within a week, and report any breaches that may have affected 5,000 customers or more to the FBI and Secret Service.

The FCC rules are based on "a wrong-headed conclusion ... that ISPs are uniquely in a position to develop highly detailed and comprehensive profiles of their customers," AT&T said in a blog post in May.

The dispute is one of a number this year between the US regulator and operators, who have also clashed overnet neutrality laws, throttlingand the common carrier exception.

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