Bloomberg BNA Features Partner Steven A. Augustino on FCC’s Broadband Privacy Stance
July 2, 2015

Partner Steven Augustino was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA article “FCC Stance on Broadband Privacy Leaves Providers Uncertain How to Comply.” The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau warned internet service providers (ISPs) in a May advisory that, for the first time, data privacy provisions in communications law would apply to them under the commission's Open Internet order. But the FCC didn't offer specific guidance, telling broadband providers instead that it would weigh whether they were “taking reasonable, good-faith steps to comply.” Steve said, “I think there's definitely an area of uncertainty now. The FCC’s only message is that ISPs should be able to show that they’ve done something. We're a far cry from having any comfort on what types of protections are sufficient.” He goes on to note that providers that fail to take any effort to review and update their privacy procedures are most vulnerable to enforcement. “That’s the approach the FCC has taken historically--the entities that face the first round of enforcement are those who don’t implement any measures,” he said. “Only later does the FCC look at substantive compliance with its rules.”