On 1 April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favour of a new regulatory framework for the data security and privacy practices of internet service providers “ISP”. Commenters in the highly contested privacy proceeding noted that the FCC’s ability to impose privacy rules on ISPs depends entirely upon the outcome of a challenge to the Open Internet Order pending in the DC Circuit. Other commenters support suggestions from the Federal Trade Commission “FTC” that the FCC align its proposed rules with the FTC’s approach, which focuses more on case-by-case enforcement adjudication. Critics of the FCC’s approach note that the communications regulator does not propose to regulate content providers, such as website operators, who will still fall under FTC rules. By introducing a separate regulatory structure, some, such as Congressman Upton, claim that the proposed new ISP-specific privacy rules will only “create public confusion”, yet consumer groups such as Public Knowledge support the FCC’s actions, asserting that telecom carriers should not be allowed to commercialise customers’ private information without their consent. Reply comments are due  on 27 June.

Press release