Today, Congress considers two key issues affecting companies in the mobile economy at the House Energy and Commerce hearing on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversight and Senate Commerce hearing on the FCC’s privacy proposal.
ACT | The App Association recently addressed these topics in a filing with the Department of Commerce, explaining how government agencies charged with protecting the public were previously able to define where their mandates started and ended. But, with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and resulting convergence of many industries, those agencies now must navigate laws and regulations that are often duplicative or in conflict with one another.
This creates uncertainty for companies in the connected technology space. Without a deliberate, inclusive, and transparent process, lawmakers and regulators often create new layers of regulation that do more harm than good.
In today’s hearings, we urge Congress to be mindful of the impact of these issues on app makers.
Specifically, app makers highly value consumer privacy and trust, making legal consistency and certainty around privacy regulations critical to the continued success of the app economy. As such, the FCC must ensure its privacy rules work in harmony with those of the Federal Trade Commission, which are founded on preventing deception and unfair methods of competition.
Further, companies in the app industry are concerned about the way in which the FCC crafted its set-top box proposal. Despite apps having an increasingly prominent role in advancing the entertainment experience, the FCC failed to adequately explore the implications on our community. We have urged the FCC to conduct the statutorily-required economic analysis on all market segments impacted by this proposal including app makers.
In both of these proceedings, it is crucial that the FCC gets it right the first time. This can be done by ensuring that the FCC implements a transparent rulemaking process, which includes fully understanding sister agency approaches and the economic impacts of new proposed regulations.
We look forward to the thoughtful discussions in both of today’s hearings today and to working with Congress, the FCC, and others moving forward.