National Consumers League

NCL calls on FCC to require strong data security rules for Internet service providers

May 27, 2016

Contact: NCL Communications, Cindy Hoang,, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, has submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the FCC’s broadband privacy notice of proposed rulemaking.

Should an internet service provider (ISP) data breach occur, the personal information of millions of consumers including their browsing history, could fall into the hands of hackers and identity thieves. Because of this risk, NCL has called for ISPs, and the third parties that they share their data with, to be subject to robust data security rules including:

  • Mandating that broadband internet access services (BIAS) providers implement high, minimum baseline data security measures such as multi-factor authentication;

  • Limiting the collection of consumers’ personal data, such as their browsing history; and

  • Mandatory breach notification to consumers should their data be compromised.

ISPs are in a unique position in the Internet ecosystem. Due to the large amounts of consumer data that flows across their networks, there is a heightened risk to consumers should those networks be compromised in a data breach. NCL has long advocated for a comprehensive data security and breach notification law that covers all entities that collect, store and use consumers’ data. The FCC’s proposed rules are an important first step in that direction, requiring a key player in the Internet ecosystem to abide by strong data security and privacy rules.

“Given the sensitive nature of the data ISPs have access to and the growing number of data breaches affecting consumers, it is imperative that ISPs be required to do all they can to protect the privacy and security of their customers’ data,” stated John Breyault, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud. “We commend the FCC for taking action to require that ISPs abide by strong and comprehensive data security and breach notifications rules.”

To read NCL’s full comments, click here.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit