The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered top broadband providers to share previously undisclosed details about their privacy policies, as concerns about data breaches and money-making methods mount.
In letters to AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, T-Mobile US and Google Fibre, the agency demanded details on what categories of personal information they collect about users or their devices; techniques for collecting that information; whether the data is shared with third parties; internal policies for allowing access to the data; and how long it is stored.
The FTC also asked whether and how user information is aggregated, anonymised or deidentified; if consumers can opt-out of the collection, retention, use and disclosure of their data; can users correct or delete their personal information; and if providers have denied or degraded a user’s service after they opted-out of data collection.
Its move comes as the FTC steps-up pressure on tech giants in the wake of high profile data breaches and as concerns about how much control users have over their data grow.
In 2018, US operators faced backlash following reports that third parties improperly gained access to mobile subscriber location information.
Facebook, Apple and Google parent Alphabet were quizzed by politicians over their data collection and protection practices after the personal information of millions of Facebook users was leaked to data mining company Cambridge Analytica.
The FTC is reportedly negotiating a billion-dollar fine with Facebook.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back