At its open meeting today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to proceed with a proposed rulemaking to regulate the privacy practices of broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  The 3-2 vote was divided along party lines.

Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of the proposal.  Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly voted against it.  Chairman Wheeler suggested that the proposed rules would simply apply the same standards to ISPs that have historically applied to telephony companies, while Commissioner Pai suggested that the rules favor one set of corporate interests over another.

As explained in our previous post, the proposed rules would require ISPs to obtain a consumer’s consent before using that consumer’s data for purposes beyond those necessary to deliver broadband services.  The rules would also require ISPs to adhere to certain data security practices and be subject to data breach reporting requirements.

The comment cycle for the proposed rules will begin after the formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register. The NPRM was not released at today’s meeting but is expected to be published in the next few weeks.