EPIC, CDT, RDR Recommend FCC Adopt More Transparent Broadband Label for Privacy

February 21, 2023

EPIC, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) submitted comments last week urging the Federal Communications Commission to improve transparency regarding the privacy practices of broadband providers in the next version of its broadband nutrition labels.

As initially proposed by the FCC, the privacy section of the consumer labels would only contain a link to the broadband provider’s privacy policy. Noting that privacy policies are notoriously lengthy and difficult to understand, and that consumers are unlikely to click through a link to read a privacy policy, EPIC and its partners urged the Commission to require providers to, directly in the label itself, explain simply to consumers whether (1) more information is collected or used about consumers than is necessary to provide the service the consumer is purchasing, (2) consumer data is shared with third parties, and (3) consumers may opt out of these data practices.

The three organizations also recommended that the FCC call attention to use of data to create behavioral profiles, identified a possible gap in transparency for providers who sell white label access to another provider’s network, and argued in support of the Commission’s legal authority to implement these privacy-protective improvements.

EPIC has long advocated for consumer privacy protections in broadband services and regularly files comments with the FCC.

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