ANA Responds to New FCC Broadband CPNI Fact Sheet

ANA has issued the following response to the FCC’s Fact Sheet on broadband privacy that will be considered at the next Commission meeting on October 27th:

"As ANA continues to carefully review the Chairman’s Fact Sheet, we are increasingly concerned about the expansion of the definition of “sensitive information” that would require a vast amount of opt-in consents by consumers. The proposed definition is far broader than that used by the FTC. If adopted, it will result in consumers being barraged by an onslaught of opt-in requests. Web browsing and app usage histories are generally swept up in this new definition and would now be considered “sensitive” data. Every time someone goes on-line, for example, to listen to music or to look up the closest car dealership, or carry out a myriad of other searches, will they need to give their consent to information-gathering?

This definitional overreach will result in consumers having to opt out repeatedly throughout the day as they browse the web or be overloaded with a constant drumbeat of opt-in choices. In either case, this will have severe negative impacts for the on-line and mobile experience, resulting in harm to consumers and threatening the financial underpinnings of the Internet ecosystem. We strongly encourage the FCC as it continues its deliberations to reconsider this proposed definition, to ensure that it is not unduly broad and sweeping, and does not result in serious harms to the consumer experience.

In addition, while the FCC claims to be focusing on the issue of the sensitivity of data, this aspect appears to be virtually ignored in its data security approach. Unfortunately, this inevitably will lead to over-notification of non-sensitive data breaches undermining the value of this type of notice requirement."