Provider of Internet service required to keep certain information concerning subscribers confidential; notice required to be provided to subscribers

An Internet service provider is required to keep certain customer information confidential. If it does not, it can be charged as a misdemeanor in Nevada. This Nevada law was recently introduced after a repeal of federal laws regarding Internet privacy. Those rules were about to go into effect after President Obama left office but were scuttled by the Trump administration, according to the New York Times. Several states have taken action to protect the personal information of Internet service provider subscribers.

Subsection 1 of NRS 205.498 states the provider of Internet service must keep the following confidential:

  • All information about the subscriber, other than the email address of the subscriber, unless permission is given from the subscriber by email or writing to the Internet provider.
  • The email address of the subscriber, if it is requested by the subscriber, in writing or by email, to have the email address of the subscriber kept confidential. After getting this request from the subscriber, the Internet service provider must keep the email confidential, unless permission is given by the subscriber in writing or by email to the Internet service provider.

Section 2 of NRS 205.498 states an Internet service provider must provider notice of the provisions of subsection 1 to all subscribers. The notice needs to include an obvious statement that the subscriber can request, by email or in writing, to have their email address kept confidential.

Section 3 states an Internet service provider that violates any of the above provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined at least $50 and up to $500. If an ISP releases the private information of hundreds or thousands of subscribers, that company could face very serious financial penalties.

Section 4 states that an Internet service provider means a provider that charges a subscriber to access the Internet or email address of the subscriber.

More Information

In 2018, about half the states in America, including Nevada, introduced laws mostly in response to the repeal of national internet privacy protections that were approved by the FCC in the last days of the Obama administration.

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The rules, which never went into effect, would have featured tougher restrictions on what ISPs could do with subscriber information. For instance, under the rules of the FCC, ISPs would have been required to get permission from subscribers before sharing and collecting their data, including the subscriber’s financial and health details, Internet browsing history, usage of apps and geo-location.

As of 2019, both Nevada and Minnesota require ISPs to keep certain information private from their subscribers, unless the subscriber provides permission to give out that information. Both states do not allow disclosure of any personal identifying information. However, Minnesota does mandate that ISPs to obtain permission from customers before giving information about customers’ online Web surfing habits and the websites they visit.

Take Action – Contact LV Criminal Defense Today

If you or your organization has been accused of making public confidential subscriber information, you will need a skilled and aggressive defense attorney in your corner. There are many prosecuting attorneys out there that take very seriously the new laws in privacy of customer information by Internet service providers. If a company is fined up to $500 per case of releasing private information of a customer, it could cause a serious financial hardship. Please contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys today for a free, confidential case review.