Broadband Plan Should Limit Privacy Recommendations-Szoka Files Comments with FCC Concerning Privacy Issues

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WASHINGTON D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission should limit its legislative recommendations concerning privacy in its National Broadband Plan to endorsing enhanced limitations on government data access, argues PFF Senior Fellow Berin Szoka in written comments submitted today to the FCC.

In the comments, Szoka states that increased regulation of private sector data use and collection is unlikely to achieve Congress’s goals of advancing broadband adoption and reducing its cost.


“Indeed, to the contrary, the Commission should recognize that such regulations will impose significant burdens on the services and applications available online and could thereby undermine, rather than advance, broadband adoption,” he explains. Further, Szoka cautions that opinion surveys purporting to show widespread privacy concerns do not reflect the real-world trade-offs consumers would make between locking down information and the many consumer benefits from the free flow of information online.

Szoka encourages the FCC to support educating users about privacy management tools as “the best way to advance the ‘affordability’ and ‘maximum utilization’ of broadband both because it focuses on those users most likely to be discouraged from adopting broadband due to privacy concerns and because such an approach avoids jeopardizing the cornucopia of content and services that makes broadband worth having in the first place.”

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