NetCompetition Counts Ways Broadband Privacy Proposal Is Flawed

Says FCC is forcing old model on new medium
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The ISP-backed NetCompetition.org has identified seven "huge flaws" in the FCC's broadband privacy proposal.

That is according to comments filed at the FCC Friday, the deadline for initial comments.

The FCC is proposing to require ISPs to get affirmative (opt-in) permission from subs to share information with third parties in most instances, a requirement not placed on edge providers like Google and Facebook for their own data collection and monetizing.

Scott Cleland of NetCompetition outlined what he saw as a plethora of flaws in a blog post, suggesting the FCC was trying to pound the square peg of old, closed-phone-system rules into the round hole of 21st century broadband.

And the seven deadly regulatory sins are:

1. "The FCC is trying to force‐fit inherently‐irreconcilable, telephone closed‐ecosystem privacy rules into a broadband open‐system Internet.

2. "There is no way for an average consumer to understand what part of their privacy is or is not now protected when by the FCC and what part is or is not protected when by the FTC.

3. "The FCC’s Title II decision was perversely subtractive in eliminating all FTC broadband consumer privacy protections, during the year‐plus period while the FCC tries to figure out what FCC consumer privacy protections will replace the FTC’s.

4. "Since the FCC regulates broadband ISPs, but not edge providers’ use of consumer network information, the FCC has managed to provide consumers with unequal privacy protection, and companies with unequal commercial opportunity.

5. "The FCC proposes to regulate the biggest privacy risk platforms the least.

6. "Google, which is the edge platform that collects the most consumer private information by far, expects no FCC regulation at all.

7. "FCC justification for regulating ISPs and not edge providers, because it is hard to switch ISPs, does not equally consider how difficult it is to leave the omnipresent and persistent tracking of Google, even if one leaves all of their services."

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