Mobile Future

Statement: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ministerial Order on Broadband and Phone Privacy

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this week, the FCC issued a ministerial order clarifying broadband and phone privacy rules and dismissing the challenges to the telecom broadband privacy rules Congress nullified via a Congressional Review Act resolution. The following statement on this announcement can be attributed to Robert M. McDowell, Chief Public Policy Adviser for Mobile Future:

“The ministerial order issued by the FCC is intended to clarify that the privacy rules that were in place before 2016 are once again in place. This guidance reaffirms FCC oversight of broadband privacy while it sorts out issues associated with the classification of broadband services, and before jurisdiction can be returned to where it belongs: the FTC. It is crucial that internet service providers’ broadband privacy policies continue to reflect the key principles of transparency, consumer choice, and consumer security that form the foundation of the FTC’s longstanding privacy framework,” said Robert M. McDowell, Chief Public Policy Adviser for Mobile Future. “This order by the FCC is also a reminder that having two sets of privacy requirements – one at the federal level and one at the state level – does not work. Our broadband networks are not defined by state borders, and oversight should solely be at the federal level. If all internet companies have a consistent set of privacy protections that are pro-consumer and pro-innovation, it levels out the playing field and protects consumers’ private data across all internet platforms. We need a uniform Internet privacy framework that meets consumer privacy demands, prevents consumer confusion and fraud, and  promotes the innovation that will fuel new technologies, economic growth and consumer choice.”