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posted by on Friday October 28 2016, @09:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the keep-it-to-yourself-buddy dept.

Techraptor is reporting on the adoption of these rules:

The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has adopted new rules which broadband providers must adhere to regarding the privacy of customer data. The FCC has published a press release as well as a fact sheet which explain some of the details of the new rules. The FCC claims authority in this area based on the Communications Act, which requires telecommunications companies to protect the privacy of their customers. The FCC has already implemented rules governing privacy for telephone companies and is now applying the same standard to broadband providers.

The FCC has implemented rules requiring notifications of how ISPs handle customer data. ISPs must tell customers what types of data are collected, the purpose of any data sharing that takes place, and what types of entities the data is shared with. Customers must be informed of the data sharing policy when they sign up for the service, and receive notifications any time the policy is updated. Additionally, the rules require that the policy is “persistently” available either on a website or a mobile app.

The rules distinguish between sensitive data and non-sensitive data. Some of the examples given for sensitive data include precise geolocation data, financial information, social security numbers, browsing history, and the content of communications. Such information can only be shared with third-parties on an opt-in basis and customers must explicitly consent to the sharing. Data like email addresses are considered non-sensitive and can be shared by default, with the opportunity for customers to opt-out. The FCC allows exemptions to the consent requirements for some purposes. For example if sharing data is necessary to provide the broadband service, to bill the customer, or to protect an ISP from fraudulent use of its network.

More information can be gleaned from TFA, and unsurprisingly, the vote and approval of these rules has been widely reported, with coverage from USA Today, Consumer Reports and The Washington Post, among others.

Do these privacy rules go too far, not far enough or are they just about right?
Is this a boon for the privacy minded or just another blatant example of government overreach? Is it both at the same time?

Related coverage:
After Setback, FCC Chairman Keeps Pushing Set-Top Box and Privacy Rules
FCC Waters Down Internet Privacy Proposal
Comcast Wants to Charge for Privacy


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  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Saturday October 29 2016, @05:07AM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 29 2016, @05:07AM (#420047)

    A lot of people shut out the voice of the EFF because they remind everybody of their nagging wife for whom nothing is good enough, or their overly-strict parent for whom a 98% wasn't good enough, or their CEO for whom a 200% increase in profit is unacceptable because it could have been 300% if just a few more children had died. It's the same attitude. Remember that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    This will force ISPs to tell their customers what they are doing with their data. This will introduce opt-out options. This will generate discussion, which will increase customer awareness, and will damage the company image. This will mean that the sales department isn't happy, which will push changes internally.

    The monopoly took years to create. It will take years to dismantle - at the very least.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 29 2016, @10:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 29 2016, @10:16AM (#420077)

    The monopoly took years to create. It will take years to dismantle - at the very least.

    And we're not going to fix these issues without 'annoying' people or entities like the EFF working to do so.