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FCC Can’t Stop Facebook, Google from Tracking Customers

FCC Can’t Stop Facebook, Google from Tracking Customers

   Online Tracking

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not be putting in a requirement to stop Facebook, Google and any other Internet operator from tracking online activities of their customers.

There has been a widespread outcry in America that the action by service providers to track customers was not in good faith. Many stakeholders called on FCC to reign on them with strict regulations but the regulator seems not to care about that.

Privacy advocates led by Consumer Watch had in the past weeks piled pressure on FCC to go ahead with the move but the new directive will not be welcome on their side. “In this Order, we dismiss Consumer Watchdog’s request that the Commission “initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring ‘edge providers’ (like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn) to honor ‘Do Not Track’ Requests from consumers”,” the decision read in part.

“The Commission has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers. We therefore find that, pursuant to section 1.401(e) of our rules, the Consumer Watchdog Petition “plainly do [es] not warrant consideration by the Commission.” FCC further said that Section 222 of the Communications Act governs telecommunications carriers’ protection and use of information obtained from their customers or other carriers.

They said carriers are obligated to calibrate 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.”

In overruling the petition by Consumer Watch, The FCC said the move was inconsistent with the Commission’s articulation of the effect of its reclassification of BIAS and the scope of the privacy practices it stated that it intends to address pursuant to that reclassification.

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