The Federal Trade Commission is all set for a broad inquiry to see how large telecom companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile handle consumer data. The inquiry is for all the private practices of internet service providers (ISPs) and comes as a step forward to monitor and regulate how much data the ISPs can collect and how much they can sell.
An FTC the press release read: “The FTC is initiating this study to better understand Internet service providers’ privacy practices in light of the evolution of telecommunications companies into vertically integrated platforms that also provide advertising-supported content. Under current law, the FTC has the ability to enforce against unfair and deceptive practices involving Internet service providers.”
Back in 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) brought out new rules where ISPs required the permission of subscribers to share their sensitive information- like their finance, location, app usage, etc. But, these rules were blocked under the new Chairman, who left it to the FTC to determine the ISPs regulations of data privacy.
Today, the FTC is aiming some of the largest ISPs in the country, including Google Fiber, Xfinity, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. These organizations need to answer queries of the FTC like what kind of data they collect, why do they collect it, if the data is shared with other third-parties, what are the procedures for a customer to change or delete his personal info, etc.