Advertisers Warn Hill On FCC Broadband CPNI Item

Say it is unnecessary and beyond its authority

In advance of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday (May 11) on the FCC's proposed broadband privacy framework, advertising trade groups are telling them that the FCC has overstepped its authority to the potential detriment of the economy and consumers

The FCC has proposed new rules requiring consumers to opt in to allowing their customer proprietary network information (CPNI) to be shared with third parties for marketing purposes, while no such requirement applies to edge providers like Google.

The associations said that the FCC proposal, as currently drafted, was unnecessary, beyond its authority," and would "undercut the vibrant online ecosystem." They asked Congress to step in to prevent that.

Their arguments against the proposal boil down to: 1) Existing voluntary self-regulatory standards supported by Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) enforcement are the appropriate tool to govern the dynamic and interrelated online content and advertising ecosystem"; 2) "The NPRM is unnecessary because effective legal safeguards already exist for online data practices"; 3) "The FCC is overreaching and lacks congressional authority to issue the proposed regulation"; 4) "Consumers and industry benefit when one agency takes the lead on privacy regulation and enforcement";5) "The NPRM is out of step with existing privacy frameworks and would undermine the ad-supported Internet"; 6) "The proposed consent standard is too restrictive"; 7) "There is no record of harm to justify new regulation in this area or the specific proposals put forward by the FCC"; 8) "Congress should set a uniform national breach notification and data security standard."

Signing on to the letter were the American Advertising Federation, American Association of Advertising AgencieAssociation of National Advertisers, Direct Marketing Association, Electronic Retailing Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau, National Business Coalition on E-Commerce & Privacy, National Retail Federation, Network Advertising Initiative, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.