By Chris GarlickIt’s one of the biggest privacy problems in entertainment right now.
In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the internet service providers (ISPs) would be required to build in mechanisms to protect the privacy of consumers’ online activity.
The rule applies to ISPs that sell broadband and phone services, but it also applies to those that offer video streaming or online games.
The rules come into force on 1 October 2018.
The ISPs that want to implement the rules will need to apply to the FCC to do so, which could take months.
The FCC is currently reviewing the rules and will publish an interim report on their effectiveness in early 2019.
The move was hailed by privacy experts, who said the rules would allow ISPs to “play nice” with consumers and give them the tools to be more informed about their personal data.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) said it was a “critical step” to ensure the rules are fair to consumers.
But privacy advocates were disappointed that the rules were so vague that they were unable to define what was a valid use of information.
The American Civil Liberties Union also expressed concern about the rules.
Privacy advocates have long warned that the FCC has not been forthcoming about what data is being protected by the rules, and that the privacy implications of the rules have not been clearly spelled out.
“The FCC’s proposed rules would be very problematic for consumers who are worried about being targeted by malicious online intrusions,” said Nadia Batlle, an EFF staff attorney.
The FCC is seeking comments on the proposed rules for six months, from December 12 to December 15, 2018.
But it’s not the first time the agency has been criticized for being vague on privacy issues.
In 2014, the FCC received an open letter from the Privacy and Technology Coalition (PTAC), a non-profit group of privacy and tech industry professionals.
PTAC said the FCC should have defined what information was covered by the privacy rules and “set a clearer timeline for implementation”.
The letter was signed by more than 40 privacy experts.
The FTC said that the proposed privacy rules were “well-crafted and comprehensive” and would “help consumers protect their privacy”.
In its first public comment, PTAC called on the FCC and the US Department of Justice to “immediately review and update the proposed FCC privacy rules”.
The proposed privacy regulations are being drafted by the Federal Trade Commission, which is part of the Department of Commerce.
The agency said in a statement that it was seeking comments from the public on the rule’s impact on consumers, business practices, and competition.
Privacy groups have been concerned that the agency is moving to weaken the privacy protections in the proposed regulations.
Privacy experts have said the proposed rule is not strong enough to stop data breaches that might be made by malicious actors.
The privacy rules would require ISPs to retain customers’ personal information for a period of two years after they move to a new address or network, but the FCC’s draft privacy rules could be extended for up to three years, which would mean data could be stored for longer periods.
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