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FCC Seeks Comment on Numerous Broadband Privacy Issues

14 January 2010

The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice this week seeking further comment on numerous privacy issues as part of its National Broadband Plan proceeding.  Based on questions raised in a recent Center for Democracy & Technology filing, some of the broad issues that the Notice seeks comment on include:

  • Consumer expectations of privacy, and how to meet those expectations as new technologies are deployed;
  • Building Privacy by Design;
  • Concerns surrounding the collection, use, and storage of transactional data; and
  • The regulation of third-party applications.

The FCC, which is working to complete the Plan and submit it to Congress by March 17, has thus far not focused extensively on how to protect consumer privacy and personal information in the broadband ecosystem.  This Notice, however, indicates that the FCC may be planning to highlight a number of privacy-related consumer protection issues in the Plan.  Moreover, depending in part on the comments received in response to the Notice, it could also open the door to future privacy and data protection proceedings at the FCC.

Comments are due on January 22, 2010, just over a week after the Commission issued the Notice.

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