A coalition of advertising trade associations on Tuesday filed a petition asking that the Federal Communications Commission reconsider new rules created to protect consumer privacy. The regulations, announced last fall, require internet service providers to notify customers about what types of information they are collecting and with whom they are sharing it. Under the new rules, providers must also "obtain affirmative 'opt-in' consent before using or sharing sensitive information." Attorneys for the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the Data & Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Network Advertising Initiative, which together represent more than 5,000 American corporations, are asking the Federal Communications Commission to revisit those rules. Their petition argues that the regulations violate the First Amendment by restricting broadband providers' "ability to use customer information for the purposes of commercial speech" without a customer's opt-in. "The creation, analysis, and transfer of consumer data for marketing purposes constitutes speech," the petition notes. "Non-misleading commercial speech regarding a lawful activity is protected under the First Amendment."
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