How will broadband labels impact consumers’ privacy?

In early April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that broadband labels, a new take on ‘nutrition labels’ for the telecommunications industry, will now provide consumers of broadband Internet service with easy-to-understand information about price and performance.

These labels were designed to help consumers make informed decisions about the purchase of broadband service, whether it’s mobile or fixed high-speed, and also prevent surprises when the first bill arrives, such as going over data limits. The FCC’s Open Internet transparency rules will now require broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to disclose this information to consumers in a clear and accurate manner – before they buy.

But some are still concerned about customer privacy. Under the new rules, ISPs will still be able to use the info customers provide when signing up to be used for marketing new (or additional) services -- unless they opt out up front. The FCC, at least, has placed additional rules and requirements on ISPs to protect customer data, which includes letting users know if a data breach occurs.


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