I’ve been reading a lot about the repeal of the rules putting the FCC in charge of privacy for access providers in the US recently—a lot of it rising to the level of hysteria and “the end is near” level. As you have probably been reading these stories, as well, I thought it worthwhile to take a moment and point out two pieces that seem to be the most balanced and thought through out there.
Essentially—yes, privacy is still a concern, and no, the sky is not falling. The first is by Nick Feamster, who I’ve worked with in the past, and has always seemed to have a reasonable take on things. The second is by Shelly Palmer, who I don’t always agree with, but in this case I think his analysis is correct.
Last week, the House and Senate both passed a joint resolution that prevent’s the new privacy rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from taking effect; the rules were released by the FCC last November, and would have bound Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States to a set of practices concerning the collection and sharing of data about consumers. The rules were widely heralded by consumer advocates, and several researchers in the computer science community, including myself, played a role in helping to shape aspects of the rules. I provided input into the rules that helped preserve the use of ISP traffic data for research and protocol development. —CircleID