New regulations limiting how telecommunications companies can collect and use customer data are coming, and the uneven application of those restrictions will lead some companies to sue the government, says a new report from Forrester.
"2017 will be a year of legal battles — between the internet giants and against federal regulators — while the promised consumer protections will fall short on enforcement," said Fatemeh Khatibloo, lead author of Predictions 2017: 6 Ways Privacy Will Rock Global Business, scheduled for release on Tuesday.
At issue is how different regulatory authorities determine how different kinds of companies are legally allowed to use customer data. The distinction is worth billions of dollars.
Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to severely limit how much customer data that cable and telecommunications companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T can share with advertisers. The new rules will force those companies to get permission from customers before selling sensitive personal information — like the websites you visit and devices you use — to advertisers.
While privacy advocates declared the ruling a victory, carriers argue that the FCChas created a double standard, since internet giants like Facebook and Alphabet's Google are under no such data restrictions because they are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.