With millions of consumers spending an ever increasing amount of time online to conduct e-commerce, share personal information and search for an unlimited array of content, federal policymakers are exploring how consumer privacy can be protected. As these concepts are being considered, care must be taken to ensure that these policies – including a “do not track” mechanism” – are applied in a targeted and competitively neutral manner and provide room for industry self-regulatory programs.
The cable industry has a proven record in respecting and protecting the personal information of its customers and the comprehensive privacy framework that governs cable has been established in The Communications Act for nearly 25 years. Customer privacy is also a primary consideration in any decision to deploy new business models and new network technologies.
Important questions about the effectiveness and intent of new privacy mechanisms includes the potential unintended consequences on consumers and the impact on the advertising that funds free Internet content, Internet commerce, and jobs.