Support S. J. Res. 34: Rescind FCC's Privacy Rules

March 8, 2017

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, I urge you to support S. J. Res. 34, which would use the authority granted to Congress under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, which were approved on October 27, 2016.

When the FCC reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as Title II common carriers in the Open Internet Order on February 26, 2015, among the many adverse effects of that ruling was the disruption of the federal privacy protection framework for internet users, including ISP customers.  The comprehensive solution to problems caused by the FCC’s Privacy Rules would be to overturn the Open Internet Order; unfortunately, it will take time to properly rescind the order.  In the interim, revocation of the privacy rules can be addressed directly through the CRA process.

Prior to the Open Internet Order, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was responsible for consumer privacy on the internet.  The agency’s primary legal authority comes from Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices in the marketplace.  The FTC also has the authority to enforce a variety of sector-specific laws, including those that emerge with the development of new technologies and business models.

Rather than harmonizing its rulemaking with the privacy standards used by the FTC, the FCC created a double standard for ISPs that is more stringent than the rules imposed on any other industry that collects consumer data, such as healthcare companies, retail websites, and edge providers that maintain consumer financial information for payment services.

Privacy rules should be consistently regulated through the FTC’s comprehensive privacy framework.  Therefore, I encourage you to support S. J. Res. 34 to rescind the FCC’s Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules.

Sincerely, 

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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