Senator To Propose ISP Consumer Privacy Bill

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On Friday, April 14, 2017, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced his plan to introduce a bill that would allow the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to regulate consumer privacy protections regarding Internet service providers (“ISPs”).  The bill, to be called the Managing Your Data Against Telecom Abuses (MY DATA) Act, would grant the FTC jurisdiction and authority to make rules regarding privacy and data security. 

The proposed bill is in response to President Trump’s recent signing of a Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) resolution that repealed regulations of the Federal Communications Commission which were adopted in October 2016 under the Obama Administration.  Those regulations would have required ISPs to take steps to protect consumer privacy, including obtaining consent from customers before using customers’ information for marketing or advertising purposes.

Since the CRA resolution now bars the FCC from contemplating any similar rules, Sen. Blumenthal’s bill would grant this power to the FTC instead.  According to the Senator, the proposed bill is meant to close “an out-of-date loophole in the Federal Trade Commission Act.”  Sen. Blumenthal has not provided a timetable for the public release of the proposed legislation.

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