On 10 March 2016, the FCC proposed a set of privacy rules ("the Rules") for Internet service providers (ISPs). The Rules would significantly limit the ability of broadband and wireless companies to share data regarding their consumers’ online activities with third parties.

The proposed Rules will be based on three core principles: transparency, choice and security. Under the proposed Rules, broadband and wireless service providers will need to be transparent with regard to their data collection practices, including expressly disclosing how private customer data is being collected, how such data is being shared with third parties, and how it is being used by those third parties. The proposed Rules would also require that consumers will be provided with tools in order to encourage customers’ choice over their data, such as creating a mechanism which will require customers to actively select their participation in the "sharing personal data" program (“opt-in” consent), rather than to be automatically enrolled in it. In addition, companies will be required to strengthen security practices which are aimed at safeguarding customer information.

The FCC has published the proposed Rules for public comments and after concluding that stage, there will be various additional regulatory stages before the final Rules enter into force.

Meanwhile, we will be glad to provide further advice in relation to the practical implications of the new Rules and assist in filing comments on behalf of interested parties.