Tag Archives: FCC

FCC’s Agenda for April 28th Broadband Consumer Privacy Public Workshop

The FCC has announced its agenda and panelists for its public workshop on protecting the privacy of consumers who use broadband Internet access services, which will be held on April 28. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will give opening remarks and Matt Blaze, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will … Continue Reading

AT&T Court Narrowly Interprets FTC Common Carrier Exception and Permits Throttling Case To Go Forward, Addresses Net Neutrality Issue

As we previously reported, in January AT&T filed a Motion to Dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) complaint alleging that AT&T engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act when it “throttled” mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan.  AT&T moved to … Continue Reading

FCC to Hold Workshop On Broadband Privacy

The Federal Communications Commission will hold a workshop on April 28 to explore its role in protecting the privacy of broadband Internet access users. The Commission’s recent net neutrality order applied certain privacy requirements to broadband access providers, including Section 222 of the Communications Act.  That statute requires telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Speaks at Industry Event for First Time Since Net Neutrality Vote

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s opening keynote at Mobile World Congress on Monday, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler took the stage yesterday.  As Wheeler’s first public appearance at an industry event since the FCC’s landmark vote last week to enforce net neutrality, the keynote was expected to be closely followed by global counterparts, and InsidePrivacy … Continue Reading

AT&T: FTC Lacks Jurisdiction Even Under “Activity-Based” Interpretation of the Common Carrier Exemption

Last week AT&T filed a Reply in support of its Motion to Dismiss challenging the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the company pursuant to Section 5 of the FTC Act. As we previously reported, the FTC filed a complaint against AT&T alleging that the company misled consumers by reducing the data … Continue Reading

FTC Says Common Carrier Exemption to Section 5 Jurisdiction is Activity-Based, Not Status-Based

Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opposed a Motion to Dismiss filed by AT&T that challenged the FTC’s attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the company in connection with certain of its mobile broadband service activities. As we previously reported, the FTC filed a complaint against AT&T in late 2014 alleging that AT&T engaged in … Continue Reading

Court Finds FTC Entitled to Partial Summary Judgment Against Dish Network for Telemarketing Violations

Last month a federal court found Dish Network liable for calls that were alleged by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to violate various provisions of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”).  Specifically, the FTC’s 2009 complaint asserted that Dish Network initiated, or caused a telemarketer to initiate, calls to numbers on the National Do Not … Continue Reading

AT&T Challenges FTC Jurisdiction Over Non-Common Carrier Activities of Common Carriers

As we previously reported, in October 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against AT&T in federal court alleging that AT&T’s “throttling” practices for mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan were unfair and deceptive in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  On Monday, AT&T … Continue Reading

Parties Involved in TCPA Fax Litigation May Qualify for Relief

The FCC recently agreed to grant limited waivers for violations of its “opt out notice” rule for solicited faxes (i.e., faxes sent with the recipient’s prior express invitation or permission).  That rule requires that senders of faxes include opt-out notices on fax transmissions that contain advertisements or promotions.  The FCC initially promulgated its opt-out notice … Continue Reading

FTC Closes Investigation After Verizon Fixes Encryption Problems With FiOS and DSL Routers

Earlier this week, the FTC notified Verizon by letter that it has closed its investigation into whether Verizon violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to secure certain routers supplied to the company’s broadband subscribers.  The FTC’s investigation centered on Verizon’s practice of supplying routers that incorporated an outdated default security setting, an … Continue Reading

FTC Says AT&T Fails to Deliver on ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against AT&T alleging that the company misled consumers by limiting its “unlimited” data plan for mobile customers. The FTC’s two-count complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that AT&T violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, which … Continue Reading

FCC Expands Application of Customer Privacy Provisions with $10 Million Fine Against Carriers

By Caleb Skeath Last Friday, the FCC announced that it intends to fine two telecommunications carriers — TerraCom, Inc., and YourTel America, Inc. — a total of $10 million for failing to protect certain customer data.  According to the FCC, the two carriers, which provide discount phone services to low-income individuals, posted customer “proprietary information” … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Consent Decree Regarding Verizon CPNI Opt-Out Notices

A Consent Decree adopted by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau on September 2 settles the FCC’s inquiry into allegations that Verizon failed to provide some customers with required notices about Verizon’s use of Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) and took too long to notify the FCC after discovering the error. Under the Consent Decree, Verizon will … Continue Reading

FCC Obtains Record $7.5 Million Settlement With Sprint for Alleged Do-Not-Call Violations

Earlier this week, the FCC announced that mobile wireless company Sprint will pay $7.5 million to resolve allegations that the company failed to honor consumer requests to be placed on Sprint’s entity-specific Do-Not-Call list.  The settlement represents the largest of its kind between the FCC and a carrier. Through this settlement agreement, which follows a … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Company $2.9 Million for Political Robocalls to Cell Phones

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to fine Dialing Services, LLC, nearly $3 million for making illegal “robocalls” to cell phones. The FCC has specific rules for automatic telephone dialing systems, also known as “autodialers,” that have the capacity to produce, store, and dial telephone numbers using a random or sequential number generator. … Continue Reading

FCC and 11th Circuit Address “Prior Express Consent” by a Third Party Under the TCPA

Last week, the FCC issued two TCPA rulings that shed further light on whether and under what circumstances an individual can provide “prior express consent”—or convey such consent—for another in the context of automated or prerecorded informational calls or text messages to mobile phones.  One of these rulings came in response to a Petition for … Continue Reading

Annual FCC CPNI Certification Due by March 1

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Enforcement Bureau issued a reminder that annual CPNI certifications for calendar year 2013 must be filed with the FCC by March 1, 2014. The FCC requires telecommunications service providers (including paging providers, commercial mobile radio services providers, and calling card providers) and interconnected VoIP service providers to file an … Continue Reading

Court Strikes Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Path for Other Broadband Regulations

A federal appeals court struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in a Jan. 14 decision, ruling that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules improperly regulate broadband providers like “common carriers” — such as providers of traditional telephone service — even though the FCC has classified broadband providers as not subject … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New TCPA Rules

Earlier today, the FCC placed on public notice two petitions requesting that the agency clarify or forbear from enforcing certain aspects of its new TCPA regulations that went into effect on October 16, 2013.  Those regulations, which we summarized here, created, among other things, a new “prior express written consent” requirement for the transmission of … Continue Reading

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

Earlier today, two entities — the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) and a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers (“Coalition”) — filed petitions at the FCC asking the agency to stay and forbear from enforcing, or clarify, certain aspects of the “prior express written consent” requirement that went into effect yesterday for prerecorded calls to residential numbers and autodialed … Continue Reading

FCC: Customer Data Carriers Obtain Through Mobile Devices Subject to Existing Privacy Rules

Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service with access to certain kinds of customer information collected through mobile devices are subject to existing privacy rules governing their use and disclosure of that information, the Federal Communications Commission announced in a declaratory ruling adopted at its June 27 meeting.  Significantly, the decision makes clear that … Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Ruling on Carriers’ Use of Data Collected on Mobile Devices

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote this month on a declaratory ruling stating that existing rules governing telephone carriers’ use of subscribers’ personal information also apply to data collected on mobile devices. Existing regulations restrict telecommunications carriers’ ability to use or disclose Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) that a carrier obtains in the … Continue Reading

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C. … Continue Reading

CPNI Certifications Due on March 1

As a reminder, telecommunications carriers must submit their annual certifications regarding customer proprietary network information (CPNI) by March 1.  CPNI is private customer information concerning telecommunications. Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) must certify annually to the FCC that they comply with their obligations to protect and limit disclosure of … Continue Reading
LexBlog