Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

FCC Proposes New Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers

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On March 10, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) proposed new privacy and data security rules for Internet service providers (“ISPs”) that, if passed, would regulate how ISPs collect, use, share, and protect customers’ data. The notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated for consideration by the full Commission is previewed in a three-page fact sheet that sets forth the proposed rules, which are built on the three core principles of choice, transparency, and security. In order to “provide the tools consumers need to make smart [...] Read more

Working Paper on Internet Service Providers and Privacy Released

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On February 29, The Institute for Information Security and Privacy released a Working Paper titled, “Online Privacy and ISPs: ISP Access to Consumer Data is Limited and Often Less than Access by Others.”  Peter Swire, Senior Counsel at Alston & Bird and Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business authored the paper, along with Alana Kirkland, an associate in Alston’s Technology and Privacy Group and Justin Hemmings, a policy analyst at Alston & Bird and a research associate at the Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business. Broadband [...] Read more

FTC and FCC Sign Consumer Protection MOU

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Since 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has engaged in an increasing number of privacy and data security enforcement actions.  The scope of the Commission’s jurisdiction over carriers has also dramatically increased – at least temporarily – following its recent net neutrality order, which reclassified  broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  As a result, the FCC has emerged as a new and potentially aggressive regulator in the consumer privacy and data security space, a role previously occupied [...] Read more

Kim Peretti Presents at FCC Cybersecurity Forum

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Kim Peretti, partner and co-chair of Alston & Bird’s Cybersecurity Preparedness & Response Team, was a featured speaker at the Cybersecurity Forum for Independent and Executive Branch Regulators, organized by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve Board on October 16. The Forum, which was held at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., focused on primary issues and the possible solutions for information sharing and cybersecurity as relevant to regulatory agencies.  Kim presented an overview of legal challenges in cybersecurity information sharing in a moderated [...] Read more

FCC Corrects July 10, 2015 TCPA Order

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This week, the FCC issued the following correction of its July 10, 2015 Order on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”): In Paragraph 100, the fourth sentence is corrected to read as follows: “It follows that the rule applies per call and that telemarketers should not rely on a consumer’s written consent obtained before the current rule took effect if that consent does not satisfy the current rule.”  The paragraph had previously stated, incorrectly, “if that consent does satisfy the current rule.” The message in the correction is clear: Any caller must have obtained [...] Read more

FCC TCPA Order has Harsh Impact on Businesses

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On July 10, 2015, the FCC entered its long awaited Order on 21 petitions seeking clarification on a number of issues related to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  A copy of the complete Order is available here https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnibus-declaratory-ruling-and-order.  The Order is consistent with comments that the FCC made during its open hearing on June 18, 2015.  For businesses that place autodialed calls or calls that use an artificial or prerecorded voice, be it for telemarketing or other purposes, the key takeaways from the new Order are as follows: First, [...] Read more

FCC’s TCPA Ruling Delivers Blow To Businesses

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The FCC today approved a Declaratory Ruling and Order resolving approximately 20 pending petitions seeking clarification of a variety of items relating to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Commission’s Order expands consumer rights and protections at the expense of legitimate businesses that use modern technologies responsibly to reach consumers. At today’s Open Commission Meeting, the FCC confirmed adoption of proposals that Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined at the end of March. In particular, the FCC ruled that: Carriers and service providers may implement call [...] Read more

Kristy Brown Comments On TCPA Issues In Inside Counsel

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Kristy Brown, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security Litigation Group, was interviewed by Inside Counsel about the uptick of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and what companies should do to reduce their risk. In the interview, titled “TCPA Litigation: How can companies protect themselves?,” Brown first notes that, “No company or industry is immune to the threat of TCPA class action litigation.” Between 2010 and 2014, TCPA litigation has seen a large increase – up 560% according to WebRecon. “The dramatic increase in TCPA lawsuits only underscores [...] Read more

Defendants to Pay FTC $9.3 Million to Settle Suit Over Alleged Text Messaging Scam

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Three groups of defendants have agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $9.3 million to settle claims that they operated a scam to send unsolicited and deceptive text messages to millions of consumers. The settlement is the result of a major campaign by the FTC targeting senders of unsolicited commercial messages using the promise of free gifts or products to get consumers to reveal “personal information for sale to marketers, their mobile numbers to cram unwanted charges on their bill, and to drive them to paid subscriptions for which the senders receive affiliate referral fees.” [...] Read more