President Donald Trump signed into law a resolution that repealed protections requiring Internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing data.
Congress last month approved the resolution to repeal the privacy rules. The lawmakers utilized the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a bill that permits Congress and the president to overturn recently passed regulations that originated and were authorized through a federal agency.
The Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules and has said he wants to roll them back.
With this overreach now established as the law of the land, open internet advocates like Fight for the Future are encouraging consumers to protect themselves and their data.
It's hard to stomach the idea that Trump, a guy with countless financial ties as well as shady and still-unknown connections to Russian Federation, thinks the American people need to disclose more of their personal information.
And in the wake of recent developments, several states are considering adopting their own internet rules, rules that would be tougher than the remnants of rules that Congress has undone.
In response to the news, several big names, including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, have come forward in recent days to assure users that they do not sell their customers' web browsing histories, and have no plans to start now.
The dawning reality is that telecoms giants including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, are now free to collect and leverage the browsing histories of subscribers - no matter how sensitive - in order to better target them with advertising and other marketing.
The arguments by the Republicans do not seem to make complete sense as Internet providers are responsible for delivery of data while Facebook and Google are companies with different services for the customers. Sadly, U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy, both Republicans, voted for the bill, as did most members of Louisiana's House delegation.
"We welcome President Trump's action today affirming Congress' decision to hit the reset button by stopping rules that would have created a confusing and conflicting consumer privacy framework", Jonathan Spalter, CEO of broadband industry trade group USTelecom, said in a statement.
IL is considering two bills, one that would allow people to find out what information internet companies have collected on them and with whom they share that information.
Pai said the FCC would work with the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees websites, to restore the "FTCs authority to police internet service providers privacy practices". For now, phone and cable companies remain subject to federal law that imposes on broadband providers a "duty to protect the confidentiality" of customer information and restricts them from using some customer data without "approval".
The measure now heads to President Trump, who is likely to sign it.