Markey Joins in Last-Minute Push For Broadband Privacy Vote

Groups echo Wheeler argument that ISPS have 'unique window'

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will join various groups pushing new broadband privacy regs Thursday (Oct. 20) to urge the FCC to vote on them at the Oct. 27 meeting as planned.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has put that vote on the agenda, but the set-top item was on the agenda for last month's meeting before being pulled at the last minute, so clearly the groups don't want a repeat of that. Thursday is the day the FCC releases the agenda for the meeting and the sunshine period prohibition on contacting the FCC decisionmakers about the privacy item begins.

The groups include Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute, and the Consumer Federation of America, and say the FCC "must act" to protect what they call the "growing" threat online of ISP data collection.

Related: Pallone Pushes for Broadband Privacy Vote

Wheeler's privacy proposal would make web site visits, app use histories and geolocation all sensitive data that requires ISP subs to opt in to their collection and use by third parties. ISPs point out that edge providers like Google and Facebook have no such restrictions, but Wheeler has said that IPSs have a unique window on everywhere their subs are going online.

In announcing a Thursday press conference, the groups echoed the chairman's argument, and argued that ISPs are collecting and monetizing more data on mobile use and Web histories and tracking them on the move (geolocation).