Trump signs repeal of US broadband privacy rules

05 April, 2017, 02:38 | Author: Elaine Woods

As expected, President Trump has signed a resolution - recently passed by both the Senate and House - killing the FCC's new broadband privacy rules, making sure that internet service providers are legally allowed to profit off users' personal information.

Internet service providers could have an easier time selling their customers' data thanks to a Senate vote on Thursday that overturns a Federal Communications Commission rule requiring ISPs to get permission before selling consumer browsing history and other data. The repeal of the Obama-era FCC regulation passed through Congress along narrow party-line votes. The fact, of course, is that Congress did indeed block the pending imposition of the privacy rules and went even further with a resolution that blocks any similar law or regulation from taking effect anytime in the future. "Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were created to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers".

Pai is alluding to the notion that companies like Google and Facebook have the ability to sell people's personal data to advertisers, while the clarity and degree of consent is sometimes dubious.

"Last year's election was fought over many issues; removing privacy protections from American consumers was not one of them", the Democrats wrote. Nevertheless, protecting privacy is clear progress and eliminating consumer protections moves us in the wrong direction.

Chief privacy officer of Comcast clearly said they don't sell customer's individual web browsing history. They say that it shows the influence of big money in politics, and makes little sense given public concern over the protection of their personal information online. This has happened as ISPs argued that internet companies like Google and Facebook have an unfair advantage as they can endlessly track the internet users.

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Since the House vote last week, there has been renewed interest in online privacy and US web users have been searching for ways to keep their browsing habits away from prying eyes.

And AT&Tdirected concerned customers to its existing privacy policy, which states that the company "will not sell your personal information to anyone, for any goal".

"It's deeply ironic", she added, "that President Trump is expressing outrage about alleged violations of his own privacy while signing legislation that will dramatically expand government surveillance of all Americans".

"In order to deliver that consistent and comprehensive protection, the Federal Communications Commission will be working with the Federal Trade Commission to restore the FTC's authority to police internet service providers' privacy practices", he continued.

Surprisingly, Trump said that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to worldwide relations back on January 1st, 2017.

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