FCC Adding Broadband Privacy Comments

As promised, the FCC has started populating the broadband privacy rule docket with comments, many of them critical of the chairman's proposal.

The commission has been dealing with a backlog of comments across all of its dockets thanks to a system it is in the process of updating, according to press secretary Kim Hart. But in the case of the broadband privacy docket, there was also apparently a glitch in communications that kept a couple of thousand comments generated by Protect Internet Freedom (PIF), which opposes the framework, out of the docket.

PIF complained to the FCC about the absence of the over 2,200 comments it said its online filing form had generated.

Last week there were only 27 comments in the docket. By Tuesday morning (May 17) there were over 300 and counting, many branding the proposal a Google giveaway—it applies an opt-in regime for sharing customer info with third parties, while Google has no such limit on its data collection for targeted marketing. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says the FCC lacks the authority to regulate edge provider privacy, or pretty much anything else.

"Your so-called Internet privacy rules, which give a free pass to the Obama Administration’s biggest corporate supporter – Google – are a sham and an outrage," read one comment. "Please revise these rules to include Google in the internet privacy rules. Thank you for your consideration," read another.

John Eggerton

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.