ISPs want “flexible” privacy rules that let them “innovate” with customer data

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #1
    Don't all fall off the couch together laughing... it will cause an 8.7 earthquake.


    Excerpt:

    Broadband industry lobby groups urged the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday not to impose privacy rules that dictate "specific methods" of protecting customer data, since that would prevent "rapid innovation."
    And another:

    ISPs are fighting against an effort led by consumer advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, and Public Knowledge. Those groups, plus a few dozen more, last month urged the FCC to make its privacy rules stronger than the FTC's.

    Even FTC Commissioner Julie Brill has said she welcomes the FCC becoming a "brawnier cop on the privacy beat," the consumer advocacy groups noted in their letter.

    I am pretty darn sure that I don't want my internet service provider to have any additional freedoms to "innovate" with its data about me as a customer. Quite to the contrary.
     
  2. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    #2
    I have an innovative new customer service program. Each board member is placed in a row, allowing customers to punch each of them once for every "innovative idea" they have.
     
  3. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    Just the idea that they're using the words "innovate" and "customer data" in the same sentence is scary.
     
  4. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Innovate with customer data? That sounds like the most awkward thing someone would say to look evil.
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    I get that it's easy to not trust them, but how specific are the regulations going to be? If it is specifying certain security protocols to be used then what happens if one of those is breached? For example, what if in 2000 there was a regulation put in to require all wifi networks to be secured with WEP, it would have been much more difficult to move to WPA or WPA 2 when it became obvious that they were needed.

    So this could be a bad thing on the part of the ISPs, but the article also doesn't have enough information about the proposed regulations for me to be sure.
     
  6. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    There are two components involved here. One is privacy, the other is security. This is the part of the article that got me interested, an analysis of the letter written by the lobby to the FCC, with respect to how "innovate" or "innovative" was used:

    The lobby groups used some form of the word "innovate" 10 times in yesterday's letter. Specific privacy rules, they said, could "create consumer confusion and stifle innovation." Stronger privacy rules could also make it hard for ISPs to "innovate and compete" or to develop "innovative new business models" and "innovative products and services."
    That was in discussion of privacy, not data security per se, and it really set my teeth on edge!

    It's true, though, that the letter (in pdf format) from the lobby group also mentioned security a few times, although in pretty general terms and along the lines you suggested, for instance

    "Rules dictating specific methods quickly become out of date and out of step with constantly changing technology, and will only hamper innovation and harm consumers."

    Their main objection is still basically beating the dead horse of the reclassification of broadband as a utility. Since that's under judicial review, they object to the FCC going ahead and drawing up the parallel rule that's needed now because the original title regarding "utility" pertained only to telephone service. But as far as I can tell, their concerns about their future operations are far more focused on beating back privacy constraints now "endured" by their telephonic counterparts, than on ensuring security.
     
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

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    It's really not that outlandish. They see that oh so innovative Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which aren't subject to strict privacy regulations like telecom providers, make tons of money by tracking and analyzing what people are doing on the web. And they want in on it.
     
  8. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    Of course they do. They're in even better position than the search engines since they know directly where you go and when you go there. Here's an excerpt from the letter on the other side of the argument; the letter in pdf format is here

    Providers of broadband Internet access service, including fixed and mobile telephone, cable, and satellite television providers, have a unique role in the online ecosystem. Their position as Internet gatekeepers gives them a comprehensive view of consumer behavior and until now privacy protections for consumers using those services have been unclear. Nor is there any way for consumers to avoid data collection by the entities that provide Internet access service. As the role of the Internet in the daily lives of consumers increases, this means an increased potential for surveillance. This can create a chilling effect on speech and increase the potential for discriminatory practices derived from data use. By contrast, commonsense protections may lead to a broader adoption and use of the Internet, as individuals gain confidence in conducting everyday business and exploring new services online.
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #9
    When it comes to ISPs, the word innovation usually means "we want more money at your expense" and, open competition usually means "**** you, customer".
     
  10. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #10
    yeah and their concern for the little providers as expressed in their letter was so touching.
     
  11. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    You do have to cut the big ISPs some slack. They are job creators and all.
     
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

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    To be fair, the reach of Google, Facebook and other big ad networks isn't limited to their own sites either. They have web bugs, "like buttons" etc. on a huge number of web pages and can track people across most of the web. So I don't think the ISPs/telcos tracking us would be much worse that what Google et al are already doing.

    In my opinion all of them (i.e. both Internet companies and ISPs/telcos) should be subject to strict privacy rules. The problem is that the legislation lags far behind the technical development. The Internet is basically the wild west when it comes to analytics and data mining.
     
  13. LizKat, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016

    LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #13
    Yah, they generate jobs for lawyers.
     
  14. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    Down with H1-B visas!!!!

    Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.
     
  15. Tech198, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016

    Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #15
    The there stooges idea... i like it..

    Protecting customer data is only a problem if we the user foolishly give it up in the first place.. or just give *everything* of info... Otherwise if users only give the minimal info at all times regardless what it is, who it is target at, then there would be zero need for protections from ISP's since users protect themselves. And while there will be issue down the road....

    well... there is such such thing as smooth sailing always.

    I would rather that than info on someone else sever they have the power to do what they want with it just by simple change of their policy..... If users don't like that, they can't do anything but change ISP's, but if user never gives all info in the first place. they still have the freedom
     
  16. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #16
    What I'd like to know is whether it's because one party or the other doesn't want to rein in the data miners, or whether Congress just won't budget the dough to get its collective tech comprehension up to speed the same as K street does for the industry.

    Consumers remain at a disadvantage here and the only heavy lifters on our side seem to be mainly the nonprofit public interest groups like EFF, EPIC, ACLU.

    There are some legislators who stick up for consumers in the era of online adventures, but not enough of them seem even to get what the issues are, maybe especially in the House. Advantage data miners... and that's weird since some House members are so in-your-face about not being trod upon by government (environmental issues for instance) They don't mind being trod upon by corporaitons?
     

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