The FCC’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Rules are no longer effective. As we previously reported, the FCC issued its Broadband Privacy Order in November 2016, which adopted new privacy rules intended to significantly increase the data privacy and security obligations of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The new rules purported to supplant the FTC’s long-standing practice of encouraging ISPs to conform their practices to accepted industry norms, and to engage in enforcement actions resulting from unfair or deceptive practices or data breaches.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the D.C. Circuit concluded that the FCC does not have authority to require companies to include opt-out notices on faxes that are sent with the prior express consent of the recipient.
On March 23rd, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to continue its fight against illegal and unwanted robocalls. The NPRM proposes rules that, if they become effective, would empower voice service providers to block illegal robocalls and calls that display false CallerID information. According to data cited by Commissioner Clyburn, 43 percent of the consumer complaints filed with the FCC in the second half of 2016 were related to robocalls, and 2.2 billion robocalls were placed nationwide in February 2017 alone.
On January 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. While Gorsuch must receive Senate confirmation before he can sit on the Supreme Court, he is generally considered to be well qualified. Gorsuch’s nomination could have significant impact on the future of the TCPA.
The Enhanced Transparency Rule, adopted by the 2015 Open Internet Order, became effective for all broadband providers on January 17, 2017. No exemption for small providers is currently in place.