FCC votes for strict new privacy rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has taken a major step toward new regulations requiring ISPs to get customer permission before using or sharing their Web-surfing history and other personal information. The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to approve a notice of proposed rule-making, or NPRM, the first step toward passing new regulations, over the objections of the commission’s two Republicans.

The rules, which will now be released for public comment, require ISPs to get opt-in permission from customers if they want to use their personal information for most reasons besides marketing their own products.

Attention Sprint & Verizon Customers: Deadline looms for ‘cramming’ refund.

Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers¬†have until December 31 to claim refunds tied to a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission over mobile “cramming.”

According to the FCC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Sprint and Verizon charged as much as $14 a month for services including horoscopes and sports scores that were not requested or approved by customers.

“Consumers rightfully expect their monthly phone bills will reflect only those services that they’s purchased,” said the FCC’s enforcement bureau chief Travis LeBlanc when the settlement was revealed.

Obtain your refund here: Sprint and Verizon