Washington, DC, March 10, 2016 – Fred Campbell, Director of Tech Knowledge, released the following statement regarding today’s FCC privacy announcement:
Half measures aren’t enough to protect consumer privacy. Sadly, the FCC’s privacy proposal is a half-measure that applies to a limited set of Internet companies that collect a subset of consumer information.
Private consumer information is like any other secret. Even if you only tell a few friends you think you can trust, your secret will likely spread. And the Internet companies the FCC refuses to hold accountable for your privacy — like Google — aren’t your friends. They’re in the business of selling your secrets — secrets so valuable that Google is now the largest company the world has ever known. Yet the FCC plans to exempt Google and the Internet’s other biggest secret-sellers from its new privacy rules. It’s the equivalent of adopting a nuclear weapons ban that applies to everyone except the United States and Russia — the world’s biggest nuclear powers — and claiming the ban will keep the world safe from nuclear attack.
If the FCC were being honest, it would acknowledge that its plan is too limited to protect your Internet privacy in any meaningful way. But the plan could play a meaningful role in cementing Google’s monopoly market power in the secret-selling business by regulating its potential competitors out of that business altogether.
Which begs an important question: When did the FCC decide that Google’s interests and the public interest are the same thing?