The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Briefing.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed two portions of the FCC’s order adopting new inmate calling service rate caps. The rules stayed were §64.6010 (setting per minute rate caps) and §64.6020(b)(2) (capping the ancillary fee for single-call services). The Court denied the request to stay other portions of the FCC’s rules.
The FCC released a Public Notice reminding service providers and equipment manufacturers of their obligations under the FCC’s disability accessibility rules. By April 1, 2016, covered entities must complete, submit, and maintain the following three pieces of information in the “Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registry” (RCCCI Registry):
- annual recordkeeping compliance certifications;
- current contact information for consumers; and
- current U.S. agent for service contact information.
The RCCCI Registry, a web-based system, is the sole means for filing annual recordkeeping compliance certifications and contact information and for updating that contact information as needed. This is the same system that has been used since 2013. Failure to file a certification and failure to keep information current is a violation of the FCC’s rules and may subject the filer to forfeiture or other penalties. In addition, if an informal complaint is not served to the correct address, it could delay or prevent that applicable manufacturer or service provider from timely responding. Failure to respond to a complaint or order of the FCC may subject a party to sanctions or other penalties.
Verizon “Supercookie” Probe
The FCC announced a settlement with Verizon Wireless to resolve its investigation into Verizon’s practice of inserting unique identifier headers (UIDH), so-called “supercookies,” into its customers’ mobile Internet traffic without their knowledge or consent. The UIDHs are inserted into web traffic and used to identify customers in order to deliver targeted ads from Verizon and other third parties. As part of the settlement, Verizon Wireless agreed to notify consumers about its targeted advertising programs, obtain customers’ opt-in consent before sharing UIDH with third parties to deliver targeted advertising, and obtain customers’ opt-in or opt-out consent before sharing UIDH internally within the Verizon corporate family. Under the terms of the settlement, Verizon will also pay a fine of $1,350,000 and adopt a three-year compliance plan.
The settlement is a result of an FCC Enforcement Bureau investigation which began in December 2014, to determine whether Verizon Wireless failed to appropriately protect customer proprietary information and whether the company failed to disclose accurate and adequate information regarding its insertion of UIDH into consumer Internet traffic over its wireless network, in violation of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule and Section 222 of the Communications Act. This is the second Open Internet enforcement Action taken by the FCC. See the Regulatory Mix dated 6/18/15. TMI Briefing Service subscribers, watch for a Briefing with more details.