fcc

Thu
30
Mar
John Lister's picture

Congress: Internet Firms Can Share (Sell) Your User Activity

Congress has voted to ditch rules that would have made it harder for broadband companies to share personal user data with third party companies. The vote means Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations will not take effect. The rules were ... adopted by the FCC last October and covered broadband and wireless providers, but not websites such as Google or Facebook. Had they taken effect, the rules would have meant Internet providers could not share key data - for example with advertisers - without the explicit consent of customers. This data included browsing history, details of the apps ... (view more)

Thu
20
Oct
John Lister's picture

T-Mobile Hit With $48 Million Penalty in 'Unlimited Data' Dispute

T-Mobile has agreed to pay nearly $50 million after misleading customers about a supposed unlimited data plan. Unlike rival AT&T, it chose to settle with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rather than risk a court case. The agreement ... came after complaints from a customer who had signed up to an unlimited plan for mobile data use. It turned out that at times when the service was most heavily used T-Mobile "de-prioritized" -- in other words, slowed down -- data speeds for customers who used the most data. It's believed the threshold, which was never made public, was ... (view more)

Wed
14
Sep
John Lister's picture

Netflix Urges FCC to End All Data Caps

Netflix has called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether data caps are harming the expansion of broadband data. The company, which also has close interest on the subject, says the FCC might have a legal duty to take ... action on the matter. The company complained in particular about monthly data limits on home broadband such as those imposed by Comcast, which recently enforced a 300GB a month cap on some customers - along with steep overage fees ($10 per 50GB). However, Comcast now says the cap has been bumped to 1TB , with unlimited data available in some areas, ... (view more)

Tue
10
May
John Lister's picture

Phone Manufacturers, Carriers Under Security Probe

Two government agencies are investigating the way smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers issue security updates for devices. They say they are particularly worried about older devices being left unpatched. It's a rare joint probe by both the ... Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While the FCC usually handles issues relating to the Internet and smartphones, the FTC usually only gets involved in cases of misleading advertising or unfair contracts. That may suggest officials are exploring whether companies have overstated the security their ... (view more)

Wed
09
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lifeline Low Income Phone Subsidy to Include Broadband

The US government plans to offer a subsidy to help people on low incomes get cheaper access to broadband Internet. Recipients would get a choice of using it on fixed-line or mobile services. The plan is an extension to an existing program called ... Lifeline, which has been running for around thirty years. Its funded by a levy on phone companies and allows people who meet low income eligibility requirements to get a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone line rental. Since 2005, the plan has allowed recipients to opt to use the discount of a pre-paid cellular phone plan instead of a landline. Now the ... (view more)

Thu
26
Nov
John Lister's picture

FCC to Tighten Online Privacy and Security Oversight

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hired a noted privacy campaigner to investigate Internet providers. It's part of a joint move with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to strengthen security and privacy measures in the communications ... industry. Jonathan Mayer has been hired as the FCC chief technologist in its enforcement division. In effect, he'll deal with the practical issues involved in deciding whether or not a company is following the law. It's a strong sign the commission intends to get tougher on company violations. New Appointee Exposed Google Trickery Mayer ... (view more)

Tue
10
Nov
John Lister's picture

FCC: Websites Can Ignore 'Do Not Track' Requests

The Federal Communications Commission (FTC) says it won't force web companies to take any heed of "Do Not Track" tools in web browsers. The move may fatally undermine the technology which is part of all modern browsers. The idea of "Do Not Track" is ... to have a standardized way for users to indicate to website operators that they don't want their online activity tracked. It's designed particularly for situations in which a third-party advertising agency which has access to a website can put a tracking cookie on the computer of a visitor to the site. The next time ... (view more)

Tue
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Fair or Fraud: Hotels Block WiFi, then Gouge Customers

Contractors at a convention center have been fined $718,000 for blocking visitors from using their own mobile data services. Meanwhile the Hilton chain has been fined $25,000 for obstructing an investigation into similar claims. The Hilton case ... began with allegations that the chain's hotel in Anaheim, California used blocking technology to stop users operating mobile hotspots. Those are portable devices which receive a cellular data signal (similar to that used to get Internet access on a smartphone) and turn it into a WiFi signal, which can then be used on laptops or smartphones. A ... (view more)

Thu
04
Jun
John Lister's picture

AT&T Makes Surprise Offer On Net Neutrality

AT&T says its prepared to drop its opposition to government rules for net neutrality. In return it wants to be allowed to take over DirecTV without regulatory interference. The offer could be a dramatic development in the ongoing dispute over ... net neutrality. That's the principle that Internet carriers should not discriminate between different types of content (other than illegal material). Examples include: blocking, slowing down, or charging special carriage fees for some forms of data, but not others. The US government, in particular the Federal Communications Commission, has ... (view more)

Thu
09
Apr
John Lister's picture

AT&T Fined $25M for Offshore Customer Data Leak

AT&T will pay a $25 million fine after regulators held it responsible for thieves taking personal details of 280,000 customers. The breaches were said to have occurred around November 2013 and April 2014, with the FCC beginning its investigation ... around May of 2014. It's the biggest ever such fine in the communications industry. The stolen information included the customers' names, part or all of their social security numbers, and some details about their account. On its own, the data wouldn't be enough for criminals to immediately steal money from customer's bank accounts, but could ... (view more)

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