Consumer Watchdog has maintained that it will continue pressing state regulators, Congress and the courts to ensure privacy of Internet users is upheld by service providers.
Their resolve came a few days after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overruled its petition seeking online privacy protections at online platforms like Google and Facebook. Consumer Watchdog is convinced that FCC took the wrong decision since they are not asking for total regulation of the Internet but privacy of users.
In a press statement, they said the move leaves Internet users at high risks of losing their private information to unauthorized parties. Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director John M. Simpson said they will not be slowed down by the FCC decision and will leave to it that internet users are well protected. “We believe the FCC has the authority to enforce Internet privacy protections far more broadly than they have opted to do and are obviously disappointed by this decision.”
The new Section 222 rules once enacted will apply to companies like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and other ISPs. Ironically, much of the personal data gathered by those companies, which will be regulated, is the same information gathered by companies like Google, and Facebook, whose privacy invasive practices won’t be covered.
“Consumers’ data will be protected in one place, but it will be a Wild West, anything goes atmosphere when it comes to giant Internet companies,” Simpson added. “Requiring that Do Not Track requests be honored is a simple way to give people necessary control of their information and is in no way an attempt to regulate the content of the Internet.”
Consumer Watchdog expects to take an active role in the FCC rulemaking that will create Section 222 privacy rules covering the broadband Internet access providers. Their petition cited FCC authority under another section of the law.
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