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Comcast, Verizon, AT&T Lobby to Make Privacy Rules Even Weaker
by Karl Bode 04:14PM Tuesday Aug 20 2013
While there's a lot of lip service paid toward "privacy," the reality is we really have few meaningful consumer privacy protections in the age of clickstream sales, behavioral ads, undeletable cookies, and location data sales. Not too surprisingly, companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T are lobbying fiercely to have the already pathetic privacy protections we do have, even weaker.

A report in the Financial Times notes how the broadband carriers, already having worked tirelessly to weaken FCC authority, want to shift all privacy oversight to the even weaker FTC:
quote:
Proponents of the shift, which would strip authority from the Federal Communications Commission and expand the mandate of the Federal Trade Commission, say the move would simplify an antiquated regulatory structure that has not kept pace with the changing media landscape. Traditional media companies face tougher restrictions than their new media rivals even though the services they offer are becoming increasingly similar.

But critics contend the change is a ploy by the companies to end privacy oversight by a watchdog -- the FCC -- that has the authority to limit the kinds of consumer information the groups can sell, and essentially move to a self-regulatory regime. The FTC, which has brought privacy cases against Google and Facebook, is seen by many experts as an agency that has tried to be an effective privacy enforcer but has limited power."
That's the same FTC that has done nothing meaningful when it comes to protecting consumer privacy. In fact, former FTC boss John Leibowitz spent the last few years paying lip service to real consumer privacy protections, then left the agency to join this new Comcast, AT&T and Verizon industry lobbying effort to weaken privacy rules further. With friends like these...

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tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

They have a point...

... We've just seen how Google can scan the contents of your email to "sort"/prioritize them for you as well as declaring that they are free to/you should not expect privacy from your ISP/email provider.
But when the telecom giants even suggest it, is when the screaming starts.

I don't think we (end users) want less protection, but whatever standard we set should apply to all parties equally, and whatever the penalty it should be punitive enough to make it a line not worth attempting to cross, but well worth avoiding getting close too.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: They have a point...

I have no problem with a provider scanning things that are stored on their system. If that's part of the terms of using the service and I agree to it, then I really have no excuse to them scanning it.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4

Re: They have a point...

store and forward, basically everything passing through would then be technically scanable. Though I agree the defining what they MAY use and declaring (in plain language) how they MAY use it is the absolute minimum standard.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

FTC has more power than FCC - but will they use it?

Privacy protection of consumer data entrusted to a company has always been in the FTC's bailiwick. They have the power, much more than the FCC to enforce it. The only question is, will they? I think there is a better chance the FTC will do something than the toothless FCC ever will.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Google said it best.

You have no rights if you use the service. Not at all like the "Ma Bell" days.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Google said it best.

Exactly why I use NOTHING of Googles and block EVERYTHING under the sun of theirs!

Privacy? There is no such thing anymore and both the FTC & FCC are totally worthless departments that should flat out be aborted/dissolved. Actually, maybe they have already been aborted and they are just running on the afterbirth!!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/