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house Bill H.R. 2520

Should the Federal Trade Commission be in Charge of Enforcing Internet Privacy Regulations?

Argument in favor

The FCC’s internet privacy regulations unfairly ignored edge service providers in their oversight of ISPs. This bill would create a level playing field for providers and ensure that consumers have the ability to keep their sensitive and non-sensitive personal information private.

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02/28/2018
Having read the information regarding what is contained in this bill and how the bill would be applied to internet service providers at all levels, I feel that this actually improves net neutrality and does a far better job of protecting the individuals private information.
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Pegls1's Opinion
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02/28/2018
This is a step in the right direction. ISPs trade our personal data for money. Trade is what the FTC is supposed to regulate isn't it?
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Larrybz's Opinion
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02/28/2018
I agree that the Internet is a communications tool but the reality is it extends the trade model far beyond its role in communications. The FCC was more focused and should be focused on radio spectrum frequency, the assignment of bands in the standardization what types of transmissions happen over types of channels. I think having the internet managed by the FCC is the wrong assignment. The FTC given its role in our economy, trade, etc. is better staffed and focused on how the internet supports business and trade, a better business enablement owner for the objectives of our country.
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Argument opposed

This bill would end the FCC’s authority to enforce internet privacy rules and transition that authority to the Federal Trade Commission. The consumer privacy protections in this bill don’t go far enough to prevent companies from selling sensitive user information.

Darin's Opinion
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02/28/2018
This is a shell game with the intent of further obscuring the who can benefit from your personal information. The middle C in FCC stands for Communications. This is a communications issue so belongs there not FTC.
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
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03/01/2018
Remove Ajit Pai, protect consumers on the internet, re-establish Net Neutrality and establish an Internet Privacy Protection Commission that lacks the corruption of every Trump appointee in this Administration.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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02/28/2018
Not in its current state. The head of the FCC is under investigation for corruption and neither our administration, nor the FTC has demonstrated the ability to protect consumers since Trump took office.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Consumer Protection and Commerce
    IntroducedMay 18th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 2520?

This bill — known as the BROWSER Act — would let the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforce information privacy rules on all internet service providers (ISPs) and edge service providers that collect and sell their users’ data. Users would have to opt-in before sensitive information could be shared under the protections.

Users would have to opt-in and give express consent before ISPs and edge service providers can use the following types of sensitive information that is:

  • Financial information;

  • Health information;

  • About children under 13;

  • Social Security numbers;

  • Precise geo-location information;

  • Content of communications;

  • Web browsing history;

  • History of usage of a software program or mobile application.

ISPs and edge service providers would have to get opt-out approval for the use of non-sensitive user information, meaning that users wouldn’t object after they’re notified about privacy policies. Service providers must allow users to grant, deny, or withdraw approval at any time.

A service provider would be allowed to use information without approval for specified purposes, including for services necessary for provision of the service and to initiate, render, bill, and collect for the service. Providers would be prohibited from conditioning service on a user’s agreement to waive privacy rights.

The bill’s full title is the Balancing the Rights Of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act of 2017.

Impact

Internet users; ISPs and edge providers; and the FTC & FCC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2520

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced this bill to provide clarity surrounding internet privacy regulations by transferring that authority from the FCC to the FTC:

“The FCC’s privacy rulemaking had two distinct problems. First, it created confusion by establishing two privacy regulators. The FCC unilaterally swiped jurisdiction from the FTC in a blatant power grab. Second, the FCC focused on only one part of the Internet eco-system and ignored edge provider services that collect as much, if not more data, than ISPs. The government should not pick winners and losers when it comes to the privacy of Americans. This bill creates a level and fair privacy playing field by bringing all entities that collect and sell the personal data of individuals under the same rules.”

This legislation has the support of six cosponsors in the House, including five Republicans and one Democrat.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Natali_mis / iStock)

AKA

Balancing the Rights Of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act of 2017

Official Title

To require providers of broadband internet access service and edge services to clearly and conspicuously notify users of the privacy policies of such providers, to give users opt-in or opt-out approval rights with respect to the use of, disclosure of, and access to user information collected by such providers based on the level of sensitivity of such information, and for other purposes.

    Having read the information regarding what is contained in this bill and how the bill would be applied to internet service providers at all levels, I feel that this actually improves net neutrality and does a far better job of protecting the individuals private information.
    Like (28)
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    This is a shell game with the intent of further obscuring the who can benefit from your personal information. The middle C in FCC stands for Communications. This is a communications issue so belongs there not FTC.
    Like (46)
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    Remove Ajit Pai, protect consumers on the internet, re-establish Net Neutrality and establish an Internet Privacy Protection Commission that lacks the corruption of every Trump appointee in this Administration.
    Like (42)
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    Not in its current state. The head of the FCC is under investigation for corruption and neither our administration, nor the FTC has demonstrated the ability to protect consumers since Trump took office.
    Like (33)
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    This is a step in the right direction. ISPs trade our personal data for money. Trade is what the FTC is supposed to regulate isn't it?
    Like (19)
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    No, this should be the FCC’s job. They are deliberately putting it on the already overburdened FTC (which the current administration has been stripping for parts, like the State Department and the EPA) so that there’s no way the FTC can enforce the law.
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    No. Because the government is horrible at everything, always susceptible to corruption, extremely inefficient, and incapable in protecting its citizens. May I ask, what is the legitimate form of government?
    Like (11)
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    There needs to be a department solely focusing on the Internet.
    Like (10)
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    We should be striding toward making the Internet a utility not a commodity. This bill seeks to do the exact opposite.
    Like (9)
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    We need to tighten privacy protections, not shuffle deck chairs.
    Like (8)
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    I agree that the Internet is a communications tool but the reality is it extends the trade model far beyond its role in communications. The FCC was more focused and should be focused on radio spectrum frequency, the assignment of bands in the standardization what types of transmissions happen over types of channels. I think having the internet managed by the FCC is the wrong assignment. The FTC given its role in our economy, trade, etc. is better staffed and focused on how the internet supports business and trade, a better business enablement owner for the objectives of our country.
    Like (8)
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    Yesterday, 2/27/18, the FTC gained temporary regulatory oversight. Getting oversight away from Pai’s FCC is key to lessor controls and restrictions. I’m for net neutrality, but trusting in the Big ISP’s is a challenge. We are experiencing both the price of unfettered profiteering and our governments manipulative desire to control all things of influence. This is a hot mess.
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    No, not the trade commission. Because it will give them insight. That's unfair.
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    Get rid of Ajit Pai, bring back Net Neutrality and make a separate commission just for the Internet.
    Like (5)
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    Keep government out of the internet. Where’s the justification for so many laws giving more and more power to the government? Stop passing silly laws. The internet is just fine without getting government involved.
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    The internet should be full access and not regulated by big business.
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    Internet Privacy Is Just Fine. Nobody Needs "Shadow Oligarchs" Controlling Privacy.
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    This does not fix the problem. There should be no on selling of information. All companies holding said information should be held responsible for its loss too. Is this simply a way to create a winding trail so that we forget about equifax and every other shameful loss of our identities?!?
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    The internet is a communications tool, which should mean FCC
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    The internet is a public utility and should be protected by the fcc and net neutrality.
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