NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Protecting Consumer Privacy

Protecting
Consumer Privacy

NCTA’s member companies are firmly committed to safeguarding our customers' personal information. Privacy is our priority. Now, it’s time for policymakers to make privacy a prerogative for all Americans.

Overview

It's time for action on a federal privacy law that protects all Americans.

For decades, NCTA member companies have worked hard to safeguard our customers’ privacy. We value their trust and intend to keep it. However, recent revelations about the data collection and sharing practices of a few global tech giants demonstrate that consumers are unaware of how their data is being collected, used, and shared online. 

With more of our daily lives taking place online, consumers deserve consistency, control, and confidence when it comes to their personal information. NCTA and our member companies are calling for a technology neutral federal data privacy law that protects consumers while promoting responsible data uses. We urge Congress to enact such a privacy law that establishes a new framework for today's digital economy.

michael powell

A technology-neutral, federal framework of online consumer protection is a first step to restoring America’s faith in our digital future.”

Michael Powell President & CEO, NCTA

ISPs Commitment to Privacy

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are committed to providing customers with transparent privacy policies. For years, ISPs have implemented policies and practices that are consistent with the Federal Trade Commission’s widely respected and effective privacy framework, and other federal and state privacy laws. ISPs will continue to uphold policies and practices that are crucial to protect consumers and foster innovation. These include:

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Transparency

ISPs provide customers with clear and conspicuous notice that describes what customer information is collected, how that information is used, and when that information is shared with third parties.

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Consumer Choice

ISPs give customers easy-to-understand privacy choices, based on the sensitivity of their data, that allow them to control the use and distribution of their personal information, including the ability to opt-out of data sharing.

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Data Security

ISPs take reasonable physical, technical, and administrative security measures to protect customer information that is collected and/or stored. These measures take into account the sensitivity of the data, among other considerations.

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Data Breach Notifications

ISPs notify affected parties of data breaches as appropriate and without unreasonable delay, when an unauthorized person acquires customers’ sensitive personal information.

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Now is the time for Congress to enact a national privacy policy that protects all Americans.

Elements of a Federal Framework

A comprehensive federal privacy law would enable consumers to enjoy transparency, choice, and security with respect to how their data is handled, regardless of where they are or what product or service they are using. Federal legislation should accomplish, at the very least:

Consistency
Align All Standards
Consistency

Hold all parties doing business, both online and offline, to the same standards for how consumer personal data is used, shared, and protected

Control
Put People at the Center
Control

Empower consumers with simple ways to access and control the use of their personal data while preserving beneficial opportunities that lead to new innovations and customized services.

Confidence
End the Confusion
Confidence

Ensure that consumers are clear about how their data is being collected and used, and require all parties collecting data to take reasonable physical, technical, and administrative security measures to protect that data.

Accountability
Centralize Administration and Enforcement
Accountability

Codify the Federal Trade Commission’s role as the preeminent national agency that oversees privacy and enhance the FTC’s enforcement tools.

Why Does Online Privacy Matter to Consumers?