USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter posted a commentary on the Axios blog platform Friday advising critics of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) repeal of the FCC's broadband privacy regs by the House and Senate to, in effect, take a chill pill.
He provided five reasons why panic in "pockets of the Internet" over the move was misplaced.
That panic expressed itself in doomsday language from privacy groups using terms more frequently associated with serial killers, like "abandon," "dismantle," "gut" and "kill."
Spalter suggested that was Chicken Little panic that had little to do with reality and gave five reasons why: 1) the most sensitive data—financial social security, children's info—will continue to be protected (the FCC rules had expanded that category to include web browsing and app history, which are not defined as "sensitive" when collected by edge providers); 2) it remains illegal to buy someone's browser history and put it online; 3) consumers expect a single standard for online privacy, whether ISP or edge provider; 4) browser history is already sold to advertisers by almost every website, with ISPs only "bit players" in the $83 billion category; and 5) the FCC and Federal Trade Commission are both on board with a "comprehensive and consistent framework."
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