Vote YES on S.J. Res 34

March 23, 2017

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

Dear Senator,

You will soon consider 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, approved on October 27, 2016.  On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support this legislation.

Prior to FCC approval of the Open Internet Order on February 26, 2015, 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.

When the FCC reclassified internet service providers (ISPs) as Title II common carriers in the Open Internet Order, among the many adverse effects of that ruling was the disruption of the federal privacy protection framework for internet users.  Rather than harmonizing its rulemaking with the privacy standards used by the FTC, the FCC created a double standard for ISPs in the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules that is more stringent than the rules imposed on any other consumer data-collecting industry, such as healthcare companies, retail websites, and edge providers that maintain consumer financial information for payment services.

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.

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.  All votes on S. J. Res. 34 will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2017 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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