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FCC rejects request to regulate OTT edge providers

The FCC in the US has dismissed a request from Consumer Watchdog that the Commission “initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring ‘edge providers’ (like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn) to honour ‘do not track’ requests from consumers. “The Commission has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers… and the Consumer Watchdog petition “plainly does not warrant consideration by the Commission.” The FCC adds: “Section 222 of the Communications Act governs telecommunications carriers’ protection and use of information obtained from their customers or other carriers, and calibrates the protection of such information based on its sensitivity. The Commission has adopted rules implementing section 222’s privacy protections with respect to providers of voice services, has amended those rules over time to respond to emerging threats to consumer privacy, and has vigorously enforced those rules. Earlier this year, when the Commission reclassified broadband internet access service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act, it declined to forbear from applying section 222 to BIAS providers. The Commission found that broadband providers ‘serve as a necessary conduit for information passing between an internet user and internet sites or other internet users, and are in a position to obtain vast amounts of personal and proprietary information about their customers’. Recognising, however, that the existing rules were written for voice services, the Commission held it was not persuaded that the Commission’s current rules implementing section 222 necessarily would be well suited to broadband Internet access service.”

  • Monday, 23 November 2015

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