Comments to FCC on Reconsideration of Broadband Privacy Rules

In comments to the Federal Communications Commission, ITIF explains that in the waning days of the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a set of rules that effectively shut broadband providers out of new data-driven business models. It is important that broadband consumers have choice and control over how their data is used, but the overly restrictive defaults imposed by the recent FCC rules come at a real cost to the economy that were not recognized in the commission’s report and order. The best course forward is for the commission to vacate these rules in their entirety. The commission did not consider several important arguments in the record, and did not adequately consider the benefits of putting additional broadband data to use in the economy. Claims advanced by privacy advocates are overstated, and the commission would do right to reconsider these rules. Ideally, the rules would be vacated as the commission also seeks comment on revisiting the appropriate legal framework for broadband going forward.