Trump supports repeal of Internet privacy protections

Posted April 04, 2017

The regulations aren't actually in place yet, and supporters of the bill say the rules unfairly prevent ISPs from collecting the same data that other companies, like Google and Facebook, already collect.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to repeal internet privacy protections approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October by the Obama administration.

In a vote earlier this month, the Senate passed it narrowly, 50-48. If anyone hoped that President Donald Trump might come to his senses and decide against signing the bill, you should know that won't happen.

Those Obama-era rules would have required service providers to get customer permission before selling the information for targeted advertisements.

"It does provide an opportunity for President Trump", the Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit organization, said in a statement Tuesday.

Consumers can't just switch if they don't like how their internet service provider is handling their personal information.

"The consequences of passing this resolution are clear: broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast, and others will be able to sell your personal information to the highest bidder without your permission", said California Democrat Anna Eschoo during debate of the proposal.

"Most people can't simply walk away from their Internet service provider", says Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel at the ACLU.

For consumers seeking privacy, Luehr suggests deleting cookies after browsing, using private browser settings, and researching companies' privacy policies.

Websites are governed by a less restrictive set of privacy rules overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. The Privacy rules would have given internet consumers control over their online personal data. It's how they tailor marketing specifically to you.

Unlike Google, Facebook and their affiliated sites, which internet users can avoid with a little inconvenience, internet service providers are a requirement to access the internet, and in most markets they hold a monopoly or near-monopoly.

"Moving forward, I want the American people to know that the FCC will work with the FTC to ensure that consumers' online privacy is protected though a consistent and comprehensive framework", Mr Pai said.

A virtual private network, or VPN, is one option to protect your online activity. There is a long tradition of the government protecting such information.