WASHINGTON—The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today expressed disappointment in the Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that it will move forward with a privacy rulemaking this month. ITIF released the following statement from Doug Brake, telecommunications policy analyst:
A sector-specific privacy rulemaking for broadband providers is misguided. Under the FTC’s enforcement of best practices and broadband provider policies, privacy protections are already well balanced with other values, such as cost, usability, or innovation. Moreover, a sector-specific rulemaking ignores privacy-protecting technologies like encryption and virtual networks, and the fact that all major broadband providers already allow consumers to control how their information is used.
It is unfortunate that privacy activists have successfully convinced the FCC to ignore the benefits of FTC privacy oversight. The greater flexibility under the FTC enforcement framework allows room for new business models that could support expensive, next generation networks with revenue other than consumers’ monthly bills. Instead, this vocal minority, who places a much higher price on their privacy than the average consumer, seeks to foreclose on the current balance of privacy with other important values.
ITIF released a report last week, “Broadband Privacy: The Folly of Sector-Specific Rules,” and hosted a panel discussion on the topic.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized as one of the world’s leading science and technology think tanks, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. Learn more at itif.org.