SJ Res. 34 to be signed by Trump: ends internet privacy guidelines

What to know before lawmakers decide if ISPs can sell your browsing history

The White House said Thursday it supports Congress' controversial decision to repeal Internet privacy protections, claiming it will create an "equal playing field" between Internet service providers and tech companies. The Senate's vote happened last week. The order is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump soon.

If passed, the repeal of the FCC rule would not only allow ISPs to track user history, but they could take that browsing data, as well as app usage and location information, to sell to companies. It also allows ISPs to use and share other information, including e-mail addresses and service tier information, unless a customer "opts-out".

One critic of the repeal, Mr Craig Aaron, president of Free Press advocacy group, said major Silicon Valley firms shied away from the fight over the rules because they profit from consumer data.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the measure, said companies "should not be able to use and sell the sensitive data they collect from you without your permission". "In reality, the FCC's rules arbitrarily treat ISP's differently", he said. "With a proven record of safeguarding consumer privacy, internet providers will continue to work on innovative new products that follow "privacy-by-design" principles and honor the FTC's successful consumer protection framework". The Senate has now voted to undo the rule which would have protected personal privacy on internet.

"They no longer have the freedom to decide how to control their own information", said Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania. "Just last week I bought underwear on the internet".


"I have a simple question: What the heck are you thinking?" Representative Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) reportedly challenged the Republicans to "leave Capitol Hill for five minutes" and find "three people" who are willing to let ISPs sell their browsing histories.

People are not even aware of how and when their data is being collected and shared with advertisers.

With Facebook and Google, tired users may choose to limit their activity on the sites or switch to rival services. "They need the Internet and they may not have another option".

A VPN (virtual private network) adds security and privacy to the Internet, public and private networks and WiFi hot spots. "Republicans' use of the Congressional Review Act will do permanent damage to the FCC to keep America's personal information safe".

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