The 3 things you need to know about...Raising the Bar - The FCC’s new Broadband Privacy Rules

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This release discusses the FCC’s approval of the Broadband Privacy Order, its implications for telecommunication companies, and the potential impact of a new Republican Administration on FCC enforcement.

On October 27, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new rigorous privacy rules for broadband internet, ushering in a new regulatory regime for telecommunication companies. The Broadband Privacy Order creates a much more prescriptive ruleset for both broadband internet service providers and voice/VoIP providers. However, the verdict is out on how this rule will be enforced as the FCC will inevitably shift from a Democratic to a Republican majority with the election of Donald Trump

The 3 things:

  1. On October 27, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new rigorous privacy rules for broadband internet access service (BIAS) providers on a 3-2 vote along party lines.  While the Trump Administration will likely usher in a new era at the FCC, the handoff of privacy oversight for BIAS providers from the FTC to the FCC is a fait accompli.
  2. The FCC Broadband Privacy Order heightens privacy and security requirements for telecommunications companies - including some key differences from the FTC requirements that apply to edge providers - and will require significant changes to current compliance programs, specifically with respect to data transparency, consent, breach notification and demonstration of “reasonable” security practices.
  3. While the Order will present immediate compliance challenges for telecommunications companies, the broader impact may be on their ability to effectively execute on their evolving business strategies.  The degree of impact will largely be determined by how the new Republican-led FCC interprets and enforces the Order.

 

About PwC’s 3Things publication series:

The objective of our 3things series is to highlight three key takeaways from evolving risk and regulatory issues impacting the Technology, Communications, Media & Entertainment and Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure sectors. Companies in these rapidly evolving industries face increasing market and competitive risks, as well as other internal and financial risks from the challenges of managing their complex - and often global - businesses.

They are also facing an uncertain regulatory environment, as regulators across the globe grapple with how to effectively implement their policy objectives in an era of unprecedented technological change. As these risk and regulatory issues emerge, we will publish future 3things which aims to provide a timely, concise and practical analyses of the issue.