ANA Could Fight FCC Proposal Requiring Permission Before ISPs Share Subscriber Data

Restrictive Proposal to Be Hot Topic at Law and Public Policy Event

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Dan Jaffe, ANA
Dan Jaffe, ANA Credit: ANA

The Federal Communications Commission's privacy proposal could be the latest battleground for the Association of National Advertisers. If anything, the proposal, just advanced on a 3-2 vote by FCC commissioners on March 31, can be expected to be a hot topic of conversation at the organization's Advertising Law and Public Policy conference in Chicago next week.

"Clearly what they're talking about is the most privacy-restrictive proposal that has come out," said Dan Jaffe, group executive VP of government relations at the ANA. Once the full proposal is made public, he added, "We're going to reach out to all our members and ask for their input and will certainly have meetings."

Mr. Jaffe declined to discuss potential lobbying efforts. "I don't know that a lot will happen initially on the lobbying front," he said, suggesting that when the full text becomes available in coming weeks, "The devil will certainly be in there."

A new privacy arena for the FCC opened as a result of the agency's adoption of net-neutrality rules for broadband last year, giving it jurisdiction over internet service providers' use of consumer data, the same way the agency has purview over how phone companies use our information.

"The problem, again, is that the FCC's powers are very different from the FTC's," he said referring to the Federal Trade Commission, which still has oversight of so-called "edge providers" such as companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. "The question that's starting to come up is, does the model set up for telephony make the same sense for the internet?"

Also on the agenda at the ANA event: ad blocking and ongoing SAG-AFTRA contract negotiations. As advertisers and the actors' labor group hammer out new rules for how things like social media and mobile ads are handled, Mr. Jaffe predicted, "That's going into extra innings."

The ANA will hold its law and public policy event on April 6 and 7.

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