Wheeler: Broadband Privacy Item Could Come This Month

Related: Wheeler Defends Title II Decision in Senate

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler signaled to the Senate Wednesday that the FCC's proposal on applying oversight to broadband consumer privacy could come as early as this month.

That came in a Senate Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing Wednesday.

Cable operators have offered up their own proposal, which is for the FCC to take a light hand and rely on a Federal Trade Commission model, which would be to go after unfair or deceptive practices based on guidelines for good conduct, rather than come up with a new set of rules.

At the hearing, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), pushed in the other direction. Markey has written the commission urging it to promulgate new rules to protect consumer privacy. He said at the hearing that should include a "comprehensive definition of customer proprietary network information (CPNI), insure transparency and require consumer consent if the information is going to be re-used," and for ISPs to implement strong data security protections.

Markey called that possible March timetable "excellent."

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.