Local, family-owned company remains committed to consumer privacy regardless of recent changes in Washington
Warren, R.I. – Despite a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal a set of federal broadband privacy regulations, Full Channel, Inc. says it has no plans of loosening its strict privacy policies.
“Full Channel does not have any intentions to capture and sell customers’ web browsing history or online habits, regardless of potential changes to federal regulations,” said Levi C. Maaia, president of Full Channel Labs, the research and development arm of the local internet provider.
Over the past decade, regulations regarding internet traffic management, network neutrality and consumer privacy have changed numerous times in a variety of political and regulatory environments. The latest set of privacy changes began in October 2016 when the Federal Communications Commission passed a comprehensive set of broadband privacy rules. The rules were heralded by privacy advocates as watershed consumer protections. However, these protections appear to be short-lived as President Donald J. Trump is poised to sign a measure, delivered to him by House Republicans in March, to eliminate the rules.
With the anticipated elimination of the broadband privacy rules by President Trump, many analysts expect internet providers to begin collecting and selling customers’ browsing habits, app usage history, location information and other user data. Maaia explained that even at times in the past when compliance with the rules were not required by law, Full Channel has always maintained the strict privacy and consumer protections detailed in the company’s Open Internet Disclosure and privacy policies (available at www.fullchannel.com/open-internet).
“We believe Full Channel’s policies set us apart from other internet providers that are racing to mine customer information for profit,” Maaia added.
While the Obama-era privacy rules blocked internet service providers from gathering certain data from its customers, in reality they did nothing to address the disclosure of personal data by the very entities already most active in the gathering of this information such as Facebook, Google and other online advertising companies that were never subject to the FCC restrictions.
President Trump has eight days until the deadline to sign the House resolution.
As Rhode Island’s only local, family-owned broadband provider, Full Channel is known for a strong community focus and affordable prices. The company operates a fiber optic-rich communications network in the East Bay, delivering Internet, television and phone services to the communities of Barrington, Warren and Bristol.