Some of the most popular and leading cable companies in the United States recently demanded the FCC to revoke a set of privacy regulations, which were approved by the government last fall. This includes some of the key internet policies that were established while Barack Obama was the President of the US.
The cable companies recently filed a petition to the federal regulators, in which they argued that these rules should be removed soon. Some of the cable companies who demanded for the withdrawal of these rules were Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Comcast Corporation. The NCTA – The Internet and Television Association noted, “They are unnecessary, unjustified, unmoored from a cost-benefit assessment, and unlikely to advance the Commission’s stated goal of enhancing consumer privacy.”
These rules were actually passed as a result of a 3-2 partisan vote at the Federal Communications Commission, which favored the Democrats in last October. There rules were actually introduced by the officials to keep internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, and others from abusing the behavioral data, which the providers collect from their subscribers when they regularly access the internet.
Reports indicate that the customer’s geo-location logs, web browsing history, and even the personal email contents offer a wealthy source of potential advertising revenue for the service providers. In addition to that, there is also a possibility for your financial and health data to be sold to the marketers along with the said details.
The ruling from the FCC significantly restricted the ability of internet providers to share and use the personal information of their customers. However, the fate of these regulations might change as the Republicans are preparing to take control of the county’s top telecom watchdog. Reports say that consumer advocacy groups have already promised that they will oppose the petition filed by the cable companies.
Matt Wood, policy director for Free Press, an advocacy organization said that, “Nothing in this election changed Americans’ fundamental rights, or their need for privacy. The election only gave more power to the party that would seemingly rather side with Comcast and other cable lobbyists than with their own constituents.”
On the other hand, the cable companies who oppose these rules claimed that FCC regulation actually resulted in an imbalance in law. They also pointed out that these restrictions are not applicable to web companies such as Facebook and Google.