ISPs Can Now Sell Your Web Browsing History Without Your Permission, US Senate Votes


Short Bytes: The US Senate has voted to discard the broadband privacy rules that would have forced the ISPs to seek consumers’ permission before selling their personal and web browsing data. The Senate, with Republican Majority, voted 50-48 and made sure that FCC will be prevented from issuing similar rulings in future. The House, also with the Republican Majority, needs to vote (Trump can also issue a veto) on the same before scrapping the consumer rights completely.

The US Senate lawmakers have voted to revoke a set of rules that would have made sure that ISPs needed the consumers’ consent before sharing or selling web browsing data with internet companies (read advertisers).

These rulesm which are now scrapped, were approved last year when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was under Democratic leadership. The US Senate vote was 50-48, with 50 Republicans voting in favor of eliminating broadband privacy rules.

The Senate used its power under the Congressional Review Act to void the FCC rulings and stop FCC from issuing a similar mandate in the future.

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President Trump’s newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai argued that the rules shouldn’t favor technology giants (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that have the power to collect more data than the ISPs.

“All actors in the online space should be subject to the same rules, and the federal government shouldn’t favor one set of companies over another,” FCC said in a statement.

You might be wondering about the next step. Well, The House, which also features a majority of the Republicans, would need to vote on the same. If The House and Trump agree that such regulations are useless, ISPs won’t be needing anybody’s permission to sell your data and private information.

While the broadband industry is ecstatic, calling it a way to apply privacy protections consistently, the privacy advocates are furious.

What are your thoughts on this? Become a part of the discussion and share your opinions.

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