Thursday (March 10) marked the release of a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to protect consumer privacy yet allow for data collection activities.
The proposal, according to Reuters, would allow broadband companies to get consumer consent to have data collected, collect that data, disclose the data collection and also report any incidence of breaches, no later than 10 days after discovery.
That would change the way things are done now, at least somewhat, with special attention to consent, where data tends to be collected without such permission. Of course, that data has, at times, been used for targeted marketing campaigns. The proposal has been brought forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and does not keep Internet providers from sharing data. Nothing further would extend to social media sites that are already around, such as Facebook or Twitter.
The proposal will go up for a vote to the whole commission at the end of the month.
Thus far, the opt-in policy has garnered some praise among advocacy groups. Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, has said that Wheeler’s proposal stands as “a major step forward for the United States, which has lagged behind other countries when it comes to protecting consumer privacy rights.”
Separately, in its own statement, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association noted an opposite reaction, asserting it was “disappointed by Chairman Wheeler’s apparent decision to propose prescriptive rules on [Internet service providers] that are at odds with the requirements imposed on other large online entities.”
Earlier this week, Verizon said it has agreed to pay $1.35 million in order to settle FCC investigations and admitted to using unique tracking codes to gain knowledge of users’ Internet traffic for advertising known as a supercookies, without consumers’ consent.