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Charter, ACA Weigh In on FCC Data Security Stay

The FCC’s 2-1 vote to stay the implementation of the agency's new data security rulescontinues to draw reaction from the cable community, including Charter Communications and the American Cable Association.

The data security regulations were the first of the new broadband privacy rules passed by the FCC under former chairman Tom Wheeler.

“Protecting the privacy and personal data of our subscribers is one of our most important responsibilities as a broadband provider," said Charter in a statement. "Charter supports efforts to adopt a uniform set of privacy regulations that ensure that all internet entities – whether they are established broadband providers, the largest web companies or new entrants to the industry – are held to the same standards for how consumer personal data may be used.”

ISPs would prefer the FCC harmonize its regs with the Federal Trade Commission approach—which FCC chairman Pai has signaled he will. The new FCC rules would require opt-in permission for third-party sharing of a broad category of personal info, while the FTC does not have an opt-in requirement for the edge provider user data collection and sharing whose privacy it oversees.

The American Cable Association was pleased for another reason.

"Given the likelihood that the current FCC will revisit the agency's broadband privacy and data security rules and harmonize them with the Federal Trade Commission's related standards, ACA applauds the FCC's decision to stay its data security rules," said ACA president Matt Polka. "Forcing small operators to implement rules now that are likely to be rescinded and replaced with different rules would be a significant and unjustified burden. The stay will in no way change ACA members' present dedication to protecting their customers' data security through reasonable measures that are also consistent with existing laws. ACA thanks the FCC, under the leadership of Chairman Pai, for removing uncertainty and providing this crucial relief."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.