Trump signs repeal of US broadband privacy rules

Senate Republican leaders Senator Roger Wicker, John Barrasso, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn take questions from the media regarding the upcoming budget battle on Capitol Hill

The rules-which codified and expanded on existing online privacy protections-were passed by the FCC in October of last year and set to go into effect later this year. "We do not sell our customers' individual web browsing information to third parties". The rules had yet to be enacted, however, before the House voted on Tuesday to repeal them. The decision of the house will hugely benefit institutions like AT&T Inc, Comcast and Verizon Communications Inc.

"We do not sell our broadband customers' individual web browsing history", Lewis wrote.

"In truth, companies that collect and use the most customer information on the internet are not the (internet service providers) but other internet companies, including operating system providers, web browsers, search engines, and social media platforms".

Following the votes in Senate and the House, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon promised that they don't now sell users' browsing history and have no plans to do so in the future.


In other words, ISPs can still sell their users' data, which includes browsing history and app usage, to a highest bidder. Period." - Bob Quinn, Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs " Verizon does not sell the personal web browsing history of our customers.

The arguments by the Republicans do not seem to make complete sense as Internet providers are responsible for delivery of data while Facebook and Google are companies with different services for the customers. Verizon privacy officer Karen Zacharia said the company offers two programs for their browsing data.

Those in support of the rule change have argued that keeping such information private would stop innovation and provide information that would be especially useful for advertisers and marketers. Comcast customers can also opt out of receiving targeted ads, the company says.

AT&T says in its privacy statement that it will not sell personal information "to anyone, for any objective. Without these protections in place, we are at greater risk of having deeply personal and revealing information breached or used in a discriminatory way", the American Civil Liberties Union said last month in an official blog post. However, as promised, President Trump has now signed the resolution into law repealing FCC rules to protect consumers from privacy invasions by ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable.

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