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

November 2016


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, Media and ​Telecommunications 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.

Click here to read all issues in this series

Contact us

Grant Waterfall
Global Cybersecurity and Privacy Assurance Leader
Tel: +1 (646) 471 7779

David Sapin
Principal, Risk and Regulatory
Tel: +1 (202) 756 1737

Jay Cline
US Privacy Leader
Tel: +1 (612) 596 6403

Jocelyn Aqua
Principal, Cybersecurity and Privacy
Tel: +1 (202) 730 4862

Toby Spry
Cybersecurity & Privacy Director
Tel: +1 (770) 262 6961

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