The US Senate on Wednesday voted, with 50 Republicans for it and 48 Democrats against, to roll back a set of broadband privacy regulations passed by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) last year when it was under Democratic leadership.
In October, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that ISPs would need to get consumers' explicit consent before being allowed to sell their web browsing data to the advertisers or other big data companies.
Before the new rules could take effect on March 2, the President Trump's newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai temporarily put a hold on these new privacy rules.
Ajit Pai argued that the rules, which are regulated by FTC, unfairly favored companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, who have the ability to collect more data than ISPs and thus dominate digital advertising.
"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.
"Therefore, he has advocated returning to a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world and harmonizing the FCC’s privacy rules for broadband providers with the FTC’s standards for others in the digital economy."Pai wanted that the FCC and the FTC should treat all online entities the same way. So those new privacy policies should be scrapped.
If the latest decision gets approval from the House of Representatives and signed by President Trump, this will make it easier for ISPs like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T, to earn more money by collecting and selling data on what you buy, where you browse, and what you search for your home, all without taking your consent.
Since the Senate used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the privacy rules, if the repeal is passed, it would not only roll back the FCC's privacy rules but also prevent the regulatory body from making similar privacy regulations in the future if the.
Not surprisingly, the broadband industry applauded the FCC's move, calling it "a welcome recognition that consumers benefit most when privacy protections are consistently applied throughout the Internet ecosystem."But, of course, privacy advocates are not at all happy with the voting, arguing that the Senate has put ISPs profits over users’ privacy.