The US Senate voted 50-48 to roll back rules instituted last October by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that were created to force ISPs and mobile carriers to gain consumers' opt-in consent to share their data with other companies.
In a letter, Pai told concerned Democratic Senators that he values the privacy of consumers and just wants all companies to play by the same rules, from Google and Facebook to ISPs. They're not in effect yet.
If the resolution becomes law, an ISP would be able to use that information or sell it to advertisers or other companies without the customer's permission or knowledge.
In a major blow for privacy advocates and individual rights, the US Senate has voted to permit ISPs to sell or share customers' data - including their browsing histories - without consent. Flake is chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy and technology.
"The rule that was overturned today passed the FCC by a 3-2 vote ten days before the November elections despite strenuous objections from throughout the Internet community".
Cable companies, cellphone carriers and the advertising industry attacked the rules as an overreach. " That rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 4, 2017".
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The broadband providers argued companies like Google don't have to ask permission before tracking what sites you visit.
Republicans and industry groups have blasted that discrepancy.
Assuming that this resolution passes through the House, which seems likely at this point, your broadband and wireless internet service provider will have free reign to collect and sell personal data along to third parties. "We support this step towards reversing the FCC's misguided approach", the Internet & Television Association (NCTA) wrote in a statement. A final Senate vote on the measure is expected on Thursday, but it was not clear when the U.S. House of Representatives might take up the measure. It gets around the Democrats' filibuster power. And then it would go to President Trump, who has already signed three such measures overturning Obama-era regulations.
The same applies to Facebook or Google, which know a scary amount about you based on your search history. But broadband providers don't now fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say the FTC has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC. "Congress needs to repeal these privacy restrictions in order to restore balance to the internet ecosystem and provide certainty to consumers", said Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who sponsored the measure. "The FCC is a stronger entity with a bit more teeth to hold ISPs' feet to the fire".