EPIC Recommends Greater Transparency on Data Practices in FCC’s Broadband Nutrition Labels

March 11, 2022

EPIC has submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), recommending that the FCC improve upon its proposed broadband nutrition label by requiring providers to clearly state whether they disclose data to third parties, whether they collect more data about customers than necessary to provide broadband service, and whether customers can opt out of these data practices. Earlier this year, the FCC announced plans to require broadband service providers to make certain disclosures about their service plans, including disclosures about privacy, in a form akin to a food nutrition label. The current FCC proposal only requires that providers link to their privacy policy from the nutrition label. EPIC explained that a mere link to a privacy policy is insufficient to explain the privacy implications of using a broadband service. Instead, EPIC proposed that the labels include yes/no checkboxes regarding providers’ data collection and disclosure practices, as well as consumer opt-out information. EPIC also recommended imposing the label requirement on all active broadband plans, instituting methods to verify label accuracy, and allowing state attorneys general to take action against providers that mislead customers. EPIC has long advocated for consumer privacy protections in broadband services and regularly files comments with the FCC.

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