Thursday, May 26, 2016

Former FTC Chairman Leibowitz Opposes FCC Privacy Rules

Former FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz submitted comments to the FCC on May 23, 2016 advising the Commission to reject new privacy rules for Internet service providers (ISPs). Mr. Leibowitz states:
The Privacy NPRM, if adopted as proposed, would result in a detailed set of burdensome data privacy rules with no precedent in the FTC or other U.S. privacy regimes, and is inconsistent with the privacy obligations applied to the rest of the economy. Moreover, the NPRM does not identify any harms that necessitate rules that are different from the FTC framework. This divergence merits additional study and consideration.
It is interesting to see two President Obama appointees, Jon Leibowitz and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, hold opposing views on this proposal. The FTC is the expert agency with regard to consumer privacy disputes. Mr. Leibowitz outlines in his comments how the FCC’s proposed rules would harm consumers by creating disparate regulations between ISPs and the rest of the Internet ecosystem.