Trump signs repeal of U.S. broadband privacy rules

To howls of disapproval from Internet users and privacy advocates alike, President Trump signed into law a resolution that seriously undermines the privacy of all citizens using ISPs to get online in the US.

According to the Congress approved legislation, the bill will repeal the regulations taken up by the Federal Communications Commission in October. "In the absence of federal rules protecting consumers in this context, we are studying what we might do on the state level".

Don't want Comcast or AT&T to sell your online search history without asking? But critics said the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies.

The FCC rule issued in October was created to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. AT&T launched its DirecTV Now online streaming service in late November. Data sells. As it turns out, ISPs are no different, operating and thriving on much of the same personal information.

A longer House proposal requires an internet company to inform customers in clear language of the type of sensitive proprietary information it plans to collect on them, and require customers to opt in to any plan to use or disclose that information.

The White House has confirmed that Trump has reversed the Obama-era rules, so closely targeted advertising is now not far away.

Ajit Pai, the agency chairman appointed by Trump, has said he wanted to roll back the broadband privacy rules.

Washington could try to block a federal effort to allow internet providers to sell customer data by making such sales a violation of the state's consumer protection law.

"I understand that consumers here are upset by the (federal) House and Senate votes", Alben said.

"The FCC's privacy rules are a common-sense step toward giving consumers control over how their data is used and sold". Singer has proposed setting up guidelines for Internet providers, not formal bans on business practices, that could then be invoked on a case-by-case basis by consumers or other businesses who feel they've been harmed by a broadband company.

Though Democrats are urging Donald Trump veto the bill, he's expected to sign it soon.

We need to put America's most experienced and expert privacy cop back on the beat.

Republican FCC commissioners also seem happy with the repeal as they said that the Obama rules would have given an unfair ability to websites to harvest more data than the IPs, reported the publication. That information would be particularly useful for advertisers and marketers.

There is, moreover, a budget-related bill on this subject that is already in play and which might be amended to include privacy protections.

  • Arturo Norris