FCC Proposes Indiscriminate PII Definition in Privacy NPRM

In addition to a bothersome “breach” definition, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), in its April 1, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) concerning ISP privacy regulation, proposes a sweeping definition of personally identifiable information (“PII”). The definition is broad enough to cover virtually every piece of information about an individual. Despite the FCC’s legally necessary finding that ISPs are “common carriers” required to transmit information without undue discrimination, the FCC seems not to have carefully considered an ISP’s unique and limited role in facilitating the exchange of information between and among consenting communicators….


FCC Proposes Bothersome Breach Definition in Privacy NPRM

On April 1, 2016 the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) concerning privacy regulation of internet broadband service providers (“ISPs”). The NPRM proposes, among other things, an expansive and vexing definition of “breach.” If not modified, the definition would require notices to customers, the FCC and the FBI of even trivial internal employee access to customer information….fccbothersome

Privacy Regulation Regime Change: Bad or Good for ISPs?

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is on the verge of proposing new federal privacy regulations for internet broadband service providers (“ISPs”). ISPs were previously policed by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). The FCC’s rulemaking is an outgrowth of its determination last year that wireline and wireless ISPs are telecommunications common carriers subject to Title II of the Communications Act, including the privacy provisions in Section 222 thereof. That determination, which is still under attack in court, effectively moved ISPs from FTC to FCC jurisdiction. ISPs will soon be forced to grapple with the details of a proposed FCC privacy regulatory scheme that has already been broadly outlined in a “Fact Sheet” released by the FCC. The FCC will fully unveil its specific proposals in a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) scheduled for an FCC vote on March 31….