Senate Votes to Kill Internet Privacy Rules

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The Federal Communications Commission had privacy rules set to go into effect that would've set up a framework for ISPs to sell user data on an opt-in basis for sensitive information, as well as allowing users to opt-out of the sharing of less important data.

The Senate voted 50-48 (following party lines) to overturn the regulations which were approved by the FCC last autumn, with today's decision meaning that the rules "shall have no force or effect", as Ars Technica reports.

One Democratic senator said in a reaction that ISP now apparently stood for "information sold for profit" or "invading subscriber privacy".

A resolution, passed by a thin margin of 50-48 in the Senate, could overturn rules developed by the Federal Communications Commission past year, which required most internet service providers (ISPs) to get your consent before using and selling your web browsing history and other sensitive data.

"When a regulation diminishes innovation, harms consumer choice and is just all-around confusing, it is a bad regulation", Flake said.

As the Washington Post points out, industry groups were pleased.




"Advertisers and marketers are lining up to get access to all the information that's now available about us", said Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, which advocates for tougher internet privacy measures.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday took up a measure to repeal regulations adopted by the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc's Google or Facebook Inc. They unnecessarily target internet service providers and ultimately make our internet ecosystem less efficient by adding more red tape.

Assuming that this resolution passes through the House, which seems likely at this point, your broadband and wireless internet service provider will have free reign to collect and sell personal data along to third parties.

Internet companies like Google operate under laxer requirements and don't have to ask users' permission before tracking what sites they visit. Moreover, the FCC may interpret this language in a way that forecloses it from addressing future privacy abuses or changing business practices.

The original protections were approved back in October 2016 but as of yet have not been put into full action and with the latest vote by the Senate it looks increasingly like these protections will be removed before they even got going.

Most congressional headlines are focused on health care this week, but another bill is on the move that could kill off internet privacy protections. "The resolution would undo privacy rules that ensure consumers control how their most sensitive information is used".

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