Thursday, 27 April, 2017

House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

Cable Operators and Telecoms Score Victory in House Vote on Privacy Rules Internet providers likely allowed to sell personal browser data without user's consent
Lucas Bell | 11 April, 2017, 09:23

The U.S. House of Representatives has followed the Senate in voting to repeal privacy rules that can prevent broadband providers from selling customers' internet-browsing histories and other data without their permission.

Supporters of the new relaxed rules have argued that search engines and video-streaming services such as Netflix are already collecting and using that data, but critics have said consumers have the choice to switch to other platforms. Doyle managed the floor debate on the Democratic side March 28 before the Republicans voted 215-205 to roll back the rules, with 15 Republicans breaking ranks to vote against it.

Republican commissioners, including Mr Pai, said in October that the rules would unfairly give websites like Facebook, Twitter or Google the ability to harvest more data than Internet service providers and thus further dominate digital advertising.

"President Trump now has the opportunity to veto this resolution and show he is not just a president for CEOs but for all Americans, said the ACLU's Neema Singh Guliani".

Online privacy rights are in grave danger thanks to President Trump and the Republicans.

"Last year, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through, on a party-line vote, privacy regulations created to benefit one group of favoured companies over another group of disfavored companies", Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, said in a statement.

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In the Obama-era net neutrality overhaul, the Federal Trade Commission, which could have addressed privacy concerns, lost its jurisdiction over Internet service providers.

Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat California) said Republicans put profits over the privacy concerns of United States citizens. That information would be particularly useful for advertisers and marketers.

Until now, internet providers such as AT&T, Time Warner and Comcast couldn't do this.

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

Representative Michael Burgess, a Republican, described the rules as "duplicative regulation" on the House floor and said the repeal would "level the playing field for an increasingly anti-competitive market".

Historically, providers have generated revenue by selling access to the Internet, a multi-billion dollar business. The rules also required said internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform you of any breaches.

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