UPDATE, March 29th: Less than a week after the Senate voted to empower internet service providers to freely share private user data with advertisers, the House has weighed in, too. Now, only a signature from the president stands in the way of the repeal.
March 23rd is a day that will go down in history. The US Senate has voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to get consumers’ explicit consent before selling or sharing web browsing data and other private data with advertisers as well as other companies. Seems that the UK’s Snooper’s Charter was only the beginning of a much more worrying global trend.
ISP now stands for “invading subscriber privacy”
… in the words of senator Ed Markey, a Democrat.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines to repeal Internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission just days before Donald Trump won the election.
The rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required Internet service providers to get the person’s permission before collecting and sharing personal data on everything from web browsing history to geo-location information.
Providers would also have been required to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared.
But on March 23rd all this turned into a mere dream. The Senate prevents all of these rules from taking effect, unless the House or President Trump decide otherwise. And we strongly doubt the latter would happen.
The repeal happened to avoid “confusion” among people
The Senate measure was introduced two weeks ago by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and 23 Republican co-sponsors. Flake said at the time that he is trying to “protect consumers from overreaching Internet regulation.”
President Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argues that consumers would be confused if there are different privacy rules for ISPs than for online companies like Google and Facebook. “American consumers should not have to be lawyers or engineers to figure out if their information is protected” Pai recently declared.