The US Federal Trade Commission has ordered seven of the largest broadband providers in the US to open up on their privacy policies reported The Telecompaper. The regulator said it wants to know more about how the ISPs collect information about customers and their devices and share it with others, as more of the companies get involved in offering ad-supported content and services,
The orders were sent to AT&T, AT&T Mobility, Comcast Cable, Google Fiber, T-Mobile US, Verizon and Verizon Wireless. The FTC is the main competition regulator in the US, as well as consumer protection issues. In this case, the FTC noted that it has the power to act against unfair and deceptive practices involving internet service providers.
The information sought includes what kind of personal information ISPs collect about consumers or their devices, including the purpose for which the information is collected or used; the techniques for collecting such information; whether the information collected is shared with third parties; internal policies for access to such data; and how long the information is retained. The companies must submit copies of their notices and disclosures to consumers about the data collection practices and outline whether they give customers any choice in the information collected or the ability to see or delete information held.