BY SHELLY PALMER
A federal appeals court upheld the rights of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadband (wired and wireless) under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act (Title II). Or, to put it another way, regulate the Internet in 2016 like it was the phone system in 1934. This is a big win for the FCC. But what does it mean for you?
First, this opinion by the District of Columbia Circuit (DCCoA) gives the FCC the power it needs to impose some serious regulations. The decision will probably be appealed, either to the DCCoA or the Supreme Court of the United States. But, for a whole bunch of legal technicalities and precedents, neither court is likely to overturn it. So, for your regulatory pleasure, here are some of the things this decision empowers the FCC to do.
Opt-In and Privacy
The FCC used to let service providers automatically collect your data – as long as you were given a way to opt out. Now, the Commission has the power to force service providers to ask your permission to collect your data. This sounds good, but all automated data collection is not evil; some of it is used to customise your online experience. Also, if advertisers can’t get your data, you are likely to see astoundingly irrelevant ads and absolutely all unrequested emails will be spam. There are two sides to this issue. We’ll see how it plays out. Read more