Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Others Demand Specific Privacy Rules for ISPs

Josh WolfordTechnology

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In order to obtain the necessary services that the country's various internet service providers offer, Americans must give up a lot of personal information. And what those companies do with said information should be a concern of every single American.

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and seven other Senators have asked the FCC to implement some specific rules concerning how broadband providers deal with user information and privacy.

The rules govern transparency, customer consent, and data security.

The nine Senators – Ed Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Ron Wyden, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren – praise the FCC for their reclassification of boradband as a telecommunications service in February and choosing to "extend the duty to protect the privacy of information that ISPs collect about their customers because of the carrier-customer relationship."

But the Senators have some specific privacy rules they want considered:

"We call on the Commission to adopt a comprehensive definition of Customer Proprietary Network Information as it pertains to broadband. Every click consumers make online paints a detailed pictures of their personal and professional lives. Accordingly, ISPs should be prohibited from sharing this information without user consent," reads a letter addressed to the FCC. "Data pertaining to internet usage, online activity, and broadband service payments should be included in the FCC's definition of CPNI.

The Senators also call for added transparency rules, saying "ISPs should accurately outline data collection policies in standardized model forms – adopted by the Commission with prior input by stakeholders – that are easy for consumers to access, read, and understand."

One suggested rule involves notification of data breaches.

"If a network of database is breached in a manner that could compromise the consumer's privacy or cause the consumer harm, ISPs must notify consumers about the breach and any actions that consumers could take to mitigate potential harm from the breach.

The senators also call for "clear, user-friendly" complaint processes.

This is not the first time this contingent of the Senate has written the FCC on matters of broadband. A dew months ago, this same crew wrote the FCC urging a swift death for the Comcast/Time Warner deal.

Image via Mredden, Wikimedia Commons

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf