California may revive broadband privacy protections

Earlier this year, Congress voted to repeal Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules that would have provided broadband Internet customers with privacy protections and increased control over their personal information.  We were disappointed and so were many Americans.  In fact, the public was so unhappy that many states started taking action.  California joined this week, and PRC is excited to support the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act, A.B. 375.

The California Broadband Internet Privacy Act would revive many of the FCC rules’ rights and protections for Californians. It allows customers to opt in to allow their Internet service providers (ISP) to use, sell, and share their personal information for reasons that go beyond providing Internet service.  It prohibits ISPs from requiring customers to pay for privacy.  It also requires ISPs to take measures to keep personal information secure.

Why is broadband privacy so important?  Individuals often have little or no choice when selecting an ISP and ISPs have the ability to access an enormous amount of information about their users and their online activity.   It is pretty simple.  We should not have to choose between privacy and access to the Internet. 

For more information on the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act, see Consumer Federation of California’s (CFC) site https://www.onlineprivacynow.com.  Please note that if you choose to take action on the site to endorse the bill, you authorize CFC to display your name as a supporter.