Trump Repeals Internet Privacy Regulations -

Via photographer: Unsplash

President Trump this week repealed the FCC’s online privacy rules, which would have required ISPs to get consumers’ approval before selling or sharing browser history with advertisers.

The regulations, part of the Federal Communication Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order, were issued during Barack Obama’s presidency.

But a new Republican government opposed the limitations, as made clear by recent Senate and House majority votes to eliminate them.

“President Trump has signed away the only rules that guarantee Americans a choice in whether or not their sensitive Internet information is sold or given away,” Chris Lewis, vice president of advocacy group Public Knowledge, said in a statement.

Consumer watchdogs worry that without these guidelines, Internet service providers can throw around sensitive data like Social Security numbers, geolocation, health information, and Web browsing history without user consent.

“No longer will Americans have rules that create secure communications networks for all,” Lewis said. “The only agency with jurisdiction over broadband providers, the FCC, is now prohibited from creating similar rules to protect consumers in the future.”

It should come as little surprise that the White House moved swiftly to roll back another Obama-era decree. During a March 30 briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the President “pledged to reverse this type of federal overreach in which bureaucrats in Washington take the interests of one group of companies over the interests of others, picking winners and losers.”

Several big-name ISPs—Comcast, AT&T, Verizon—have come forward to ensure folks they do not, and will not, sell customers’ Web browsing histories.

In a joint statement, FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeney, both Democrats, condemned the legislation, saying it will “frustrate the FCC’s future efforts to protect the privacy of voice and broadband customers.”

Clyburn’s colleague, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, meanwhile, takes a different stance on the issue.

“I applaud President Trump and Congress for utilizing the [Congressional Review Act] to undo the FCC’s detrimental privacy rules,” he said in a public statement. “The parade of horribles trotted out to scare the American people about its passage are completely fictitious.

“Hopefully, we will soon return to a universe where thoughtful privacy protections are not overrun by shameful FCC power grabs and blatant misrepresentations,” O’Rielly added.

Trump Repeals Internet Privacy Regulations –


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