Verizon has joined the chorus of voices protesting the FCC’s recently proposed consumer privacy rules for broadband internet providers.
In a meeting with FCC officials, Verizon representatives said while they generally agree with the “use of a notice and consent framework” to address privacy practices, the company has “significant concerns” about the Commission’s proposed structure.
The rules, which the FCC advanced to public comment in a 3-2 party-line vote late last month, would separate consumer data into three categories requiring different kinds of consent (inherent, opt-out and opt-in) prior to collection or sharing. The rules would also require ISPs to disclose their data gathering practices and beef up regulations surrounding ISP protection of consumer data and breach reporting requirements.
Verizon told the FCC it believes the “the broad opt-in requirements proposed in this proceeding are unnecessary to protect consumers and inconsistent with the practices of other Internet companies.” The carrier also said the proposed requirements would present “substantial practical challenges” for ISPs and would make it difficult for them to remain competitive in the online advertising market.
In lieu of the proposed rules, Verizon instead suggested the FCC instead adopt an opt-in requirement that is “limited to the most sensitive use cases.” In all other cases, the carrier said “meaningful notice combined with opt-out (or implied) consent” would be sufficient to protect consumers while offering flexibility for broadband providers.
Verizon isn’t alone in voicing objection to the proposed rules.
The proposed rules have already sparked a backlash from Moody’s Investors Service – who declared they would “severely handicap” AT&T and Verizon’s ability to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google – as well as AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory Bob Quinn and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly have also voiced staunch opposition to the rules.
Following the current public comment period, the FCC will hold a final vote on whether or not to approve the proposed rules.
During the public comment period, the FCC said it is seeking input on “additional or alternative paths to achieve pro-consumer, pro-privacy goals.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations