What the death of broadband privacy rules means

The Federal Communications Commission rule was created to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information, but critics said it would have added costs, stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies.

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opposed the measure, saying "Americans shouldn't have to give up every shred of privacy when they go online".

During a floor debate, she said that, "Republicans want this (private) information to be sold without your permission". The rules would have barred internet service providers (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc.) from selling sensitive information to advertisers without their customers' permission.

Slate's piece added that it's not just privacy at stake: "Some proponents of the FCC regulation argued that allowing ISPs to keep track of and sell consumers' data exposes their information to more security threats".

Democrats also pointed out the privacy rules ask that broadband providers take reasonable measures to protect customer's data, including issuing notifications when a breach occurs. He said the regulations picked "winners and losers", benefiting certain companies over others.

In a rare political move that has united liberals and conservatives in outrage, the United States Congress has voted to repeal an array of internet privacy protections. "The best way to achieve that result would be to return jurisdiction over broadband providers' privacy practices to the FTC, with its decades of experience and expertise in this area". The House's vote follows an earlier vote by the Senate last week to overturn the rules under the Congressional Review Act. Literally zero Democrats voted for the bill, while almost every Republican voted for it.

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The American Civil Liberties Union urged Trump to veto the resolution.

This latest Trump era attack on regulations is being seen as the first of many that could alter the future of the internet.

They may have failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, but President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are having some success at rolling back regulations in an effort to make life easier for businesses. Each will be greenlighted to track, gather, use, and sell your data to third-party companies.

Lawmakers speaking against the bill claim that former President Barack Obama's October rules provided consumers additional privacy. Sophisticated users might increasingly rely on virtual private networks, which are used by corporations to let their employees log into secure systems remotely, and other tools to mask their activities, but most Americans are unlikely to be conversant with such tricks of the trade.

The vote marked a victory, however, for telecommunications companies, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, of regulations passed a year ago that placed limitations on information on consumer browsing, app usage, location data, and personal account numbers.

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