WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate’s vote Thursday to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules is a disappointing step that threatens to make consumers’ data less secure. At a time when data breaches routinely expose consumers to identity theft and other fraud, according to advocates at the National Consumers League (NCL), it is extremely disheartening that the Senate would seek to obliterate strong consumer data security requirements.
John Breyault, NCL’s vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud issued the following statement:
Not a day goes by that we aren’t reminded of the costs of failing to secure consumers’ data from criminal and state-sponsored hacking. It is clear that data breaches raise the risk of identity fraud for millions of consumers. This being the case, it is inconceivable that the Senate would seek to eviscerate strong data security standards put in place by the FCC’s broadband privacy rules.
Broadband providers are uniquely positioned in the Internet ecosystem, with access to vast amounts of consumer data. They are therefore especially vulnerable targets for those who would seek unauthorized access to consumers’ sensitive personal information. That is why NCL supported the FCC’s common-sense broadband privacy rules, which for the first time require ISPs to provide reasonable protections for consumers’ data.
We urge pro-consumer members of the House of Representatives to heed the appeals of pro-privacy and pro-security advocates and resist efforts to gut these critically important consumer protections.