Trump signs bill blocking online privacy regulation

The rules proposed by the FCC under the Obama Administration would have only taken effect in December 2017.

Broadband providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon Communications will gain from the new Internet privacy rules signed by US President Donald Trump.

While websites such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have never denied that they use customer behavior for marketing, Mierzwinski said ISPs have far more information at their disposal to collect and sell. Currently, the federal law still requires internet providers to protect customer information.

"A measure to roll back crucial privacy protections has crossed the finish line, and Internet users are worse off for it", the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News.

When this bill gets signed, online users searches will be seen as the property of the internet provider. The Assembly is considering its own telecommunications bill, AB 123. "We did not do it before the FCC's rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so", said Gerard Lewis, Comcast's chief privacy officer. Ironically, Republicans in Congress repealed the rules even before they went into effect.

Last week, Congress sent President Trump the legislation that kills an online privacy regulation - a move that could eventually allow internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. These include web browsing history, geolocation, financial information, app usage, health information, and other personal data.

Earlier on Friday, three of the nation's biggest internet service providers vowed to keep customers' web browsing histories secure, following the controversial congressional vote to kill federal web privacy rules. The statement were made after both the Senate and House of Representatives voted to repeal broadband privacy rules introduced under former President Barack Obama.

Some telecom companies, however, insisted they would protect consumers' personal information anyway - and chalked doubts up to their opponents.

Supporters of the bill say that the companies that sell the internet connection will be able to learn more about consumers, such as every website they visit and emails they send. In one program, the marketers can access "de-identified information to determine which customers fit into groups that advertisers are trying to reach".

Instead of drafting rules that would address this contention and apply to all businesses, both houses of Congress chose to scrap the rules altogether.

  • Terrell Bush