Oracle posits that Consumer Broadband Privacy Rules grant Google unfair competitive advantage

UnknownOn December 21, 2016, Oracle asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its decision and order “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (“Order”) published on November 2016. See here. At the beginning of 2017, several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and cable associations filed Petitions for Reconsideration requesting the FCC to significantly modify the Order.

Among other requests, Oracle asked the FCC to reconsider the Order because it allegedly completely undermines the goal to protect consumers’ privacy by handing the market to Google.

According to Oracle when the Order goes into effect

broadband internet access service (“BIAS”) providers (i.e., Internet Service Providers or “ISPs”) will face new restrictions and requirements that do not apply to Google or other providers of other online services (“edge providers”).

According to Oracle the Order is based on two flawed premises.

First, the order wrongly understates the online tracking capabilities of Google and other edge providers.

Oracle warns that the Order will create a chilling effect by giving “a clear competitive advantage to edge providers that already dominate the digital advertising market…”

Second, Oracle opposes the distinction drawn by the Order between consumers’ choices and expectations with respect to their ISPs versus their edge providers and operating systems. According to Oracle, “just as with their ISPs, consumers have little choice regarding whether to reveal personal information to Google.”

Oracle concludes that since the Order relies on these wrong premises, the Commission should reconsider it and, at a minimum, subject ISPs to the same privacy regime as edge providers.

Oracle petition for reconsideration is available at https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov…      Open PDF

 

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal and Federica Romanelli

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