Trump signs bill blocking online privacy regulation

Posted April 05, 2017

President Donald Trump on Monday signed a bill that wipes away rules passed by the FCC a year ago to protect data and privacy for customers utilizing Internet Service Providers.

President Donald Trump on Monday signed a bill into law that opens the door to internet providers selling information about their customers' browsing habits. The bill was passed by the House and Senate last week as Republicans voted to nix the "heavy-handed" regulations.

On Monday, the United States President Donald Trump signed a resolution that would void the set of privacy rules adopted by the FCC a year ago during the Obama-era.

Lewis added, "These companies can also force Americans to pay to preserve their online data, as some companies have posited".

"The rule departs from the technology-neutral framework for online privacy administered by the Federal Trade Commission", the White House said. "Consumers deserve and expect one consistent set of online privacy protections and this action helps clear the way for a more uniform approach across the entire internet ecosystem". Pai could initiate a new rule-making process at the FCC to overhaul net neutrality, or Congress could move forward with legislation.

The FCC's rules would have required that internet providers obtain an "opt in" from their subscribers before they could sell or share personal information, data gathering that has proven lucrative as a way to draw advertisers.

The bill, which has passed both the Senate and House and awaits President Donald Trump's signature, would roll back rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission last October in what Republicans describe as a "midnight regulation".

"We do not sell our broadband customers' individual web browsing history".

Major providers-including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon-supported the overturning of the internet privacy protections, saying companies like Google and Facebook did not face the same restrictions for how they handle user data.

The bill blocks internet providers' ability to collect identifiable, personal information without the customer's permission.

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

The measure now heads to President Trump, who is likely to sign it. "No one wants their Internet Service Provider to sell their information without their permission".

Supporters of the change have argued that keeping browsing information private would stop innovation and that the rule was unnecessary red tape.

So rather than create a law giving the FTC rulemaking authority or introduce far-reaching privacy legislation that evens the playing field and protects all consumers, Congress made a decision to gut the FCC rules through a process that provides for no debate, no amendment, and only requires a simple majority to pass through the Senate.