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Released: January 20, 2016
Groups call for safe data practices, enforcement by FCC
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, 59 U.S. consumer advocacy, privacy and digital rights organizations submitted a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler calling for strong rules to protect the privacy and data security of broadband users. The signers, which in addition to Consumer Action include ACLU, EFF, Free Press, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge and many national and local groups, encourage the FCC to coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission in protecting users from unauthorized sharing of their online data. The issue comes to the forefront following the FCC's reclassification of broadband Internet access services under Title II of the Communications Act. Internet service purchased by consumers from cable, phone, and wireless providers now is considered a telecommunications service, which allows the FCC to use its powers to enact rules to prevent unfair Internet practices.
Linda Sherry, director of national priorities and head of Consumer Action's DC office, made the following statement:
"Consumer Action and its allies today ask the FCC to hold broadband providers accountable for the protection of personal data they collect from users—and to adhere to a strong set of rules when that data is not adequately protected. We've also asked that broadband providers be required to disclose all data collection practices to users. With the FCC as a strong cop on the beat, serious consequences for those who don't follow the rules and a clear understanding by consumers about what is being collected, the Internet can be a safer place."
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