Posted Apr. 4, 2017 at 6:23 a.m.

Trump signs bill overriding FCC data privacy rules

Published: 2017-04-04 06:23:29
Updated: 2017-04-04 06:23:29


President Donald Trump on Monday signed a bill that wipes away rules passed by the FCC last year to protect data and privacy for customers utilizing Internet Service Providers.

The bill had been approved by the House and Senate.

On Friday, major ISPs Verizon, AT&T and Comcast pledged not to sell such data and said consumers would have "opt out" options from any such data sales if they were offered.

Trump's signature came after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer urged him to veto a resolution that would kill an online privacy regulation. He insists the bill could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits.

The New York senator and 46 other Senate Democrats signed a letter calling on Trump to "tell us whose side he's really on."

The FCC rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. But critics said the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies.

"If President Trump clicks his pen and signs this resolution, consumers will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York minute," Schumer said. "Signing this rollback into law would mean private data from our laptops, iPads, and even our cellphones would be fair game for internet companies to sell and make a fast buck."

The Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules and has said he wants to roll them back. He and other Republicans want a different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, to police privacy for both broadband companies like AT&T and internet companies like Google, which do not have to ask users' permission before tracking what websites they visit.

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