Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CTIA borrows a page from the banking industry playbook

CTIA, the Washington, DC based lobbying organization for the wireless industry, today released a statement where they questioned the FCC authority to regulate the wireless industry on privacy issues. 

The carrier lobbying organization in essence argues that because much of the personal data stored in and communicated by wireless devices reside in or originate in third party applications over which the carriers have little or no control, there should be no regulation at all. Except voluntary commitments by carriers.

While I definitely agree with CTIA that much data is stored/originate in apps outside of the carriers control, I do not think the logical conclusion of this fact, is that the best way to protect the consumers, is to have no regulation at all.

CTIA is basically saying exactly what the banking industry was saying before, during and after the financial crisis, "trust us, we don't need any regulation".

Well, we all know how well that worked out for the American consumer. CTIA is proposing the same course of events for our privacy.

The natural conclusion would of course be to have a level-headed regulation that encompasses both carriers and apps. I realize that this could be tricky but if the payment industry can agree on something as complex as PCI-DSS,  it is not completely out of question that carriers, as well as app developers would be saddled with a responsibility for the data they gather on their users.

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