US House votes to wipe away FCC's Internet privacy protections
- Author: Darren Santiago Apr 04, 2017,
Apr 04, 2017, 4:55
The Federal Communications Commission rule was created to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information, but critics said it would have added costs, stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies.
The repeal, part of a Republican effort to unwind regulations imposed under President Barack Obama, was opposed by15 Republicans, along with Democrats who cited privacy protection.
Or, they could sell that data to online advertising markets, financial companies and anyone else who can pay to use the information without the consent of consumers, which was earlier a mandatory requirement.
"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", Pai said in defense of the new law.
The petition - hosted on Whitehouse.gov - asks the government not to "let Internet providers spy and sell our online data" and to "please keep the FCC's Privacy Rules" in place.
Republicans argued that the FCC overstepped its bounds and that it was up to the Federal Trade Commission to regulate privacy.
One critic of the repeal, Craig Aaron, president of Free Press advocacy group, said major Silicon Valley companies shied away from the fight over the rules because they profit from consumer data. Broadband providers don't now fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say it has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC.
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On Tuesday, the House voted to repeal the Obama-era FCC rules that protect the privacy of users' web browsing history.
190 Democratic and 15 Republican representatives voted against the repeal.
Last week, the US Senate voted to permit ISPs to share - or sell - customers' browsing histories and other data without permission.
The American Civil Liberties Union urged Trump to veto the resolution.
The final decision will now rest with President Donald Trump, after a week in which he faced rejection from a Republican-controlled Congress over his proposals for healthcare reform.
Although customers could choose to abandon their provider, privacy activists say there is often little choice within a specific geographical area.
The privacy rules were meant to give consumers extra control over their personal data online at a time when everything from smartphones to refrigerators can be connected to the Internet.
A VPN (virtual private network) adds security and privacy to the Internet, public and private networks and WiFi hot spots. "There should not be one standard for internet service providers and another for other online companies". They should be able to do so without fear that their Internet service providers are logging their activities and selling the data.