There’s been a lot of attention and questions about consumer privacy in recent days. At Comcast, we respect and protect our customers’ personal information. Always have, always will. We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual Web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so.
Comcast has committed to privacy principles that are consistent with the FTC’s privacy regime, which has applied to all entities in the Internet ecosystem for over 20 years and which continues to apply to Internet edge companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. We believe this commitment is legally enforceable in multiple ways, including by state attorneys general.
There has been a lot of misleading talk about how the congressional action this week to overturn the regulatory overreach of the prior FCC will now permit us to sell sensitive customer data without customers’ knowledge or consent. This is just not true. In fact, we have committed not to share our customers’ sensitive information (such as banking, children’s and health information), unless we first obtain their affirmative, opt-in consent.
Our privacy commitments to our customers go even beyond this protection of sensitive information that has dominated the dialogue this week. If a customer does not want us to use other, non-sensitive data to send them targeted ads, we offer them the ability to opt out of receiving such targeted ads.
We also continue to comply with various federal laws protecting privacy, such as the Communications Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, as well as dozens of state privacy and data-security laws.
Gerard Lewis is the senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief privacy officer for Comcast.