That rule - scheduled to take effect this fall - would prevent internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from selling information on consumers' internet browsing, application use, location and finances without their permission.
Senators voted along party lines, 50-48, to eliminate the rules. If the Republican-controlled House also votes to overturn FCC's privacy rules, the matter would then go to President Trump for a signature.
In a decision that has already upset privacy advocates everywhere, the United States Senate yesterday voted down Federal Communications Commission rules that restricted Internet service providers (ISPs) from selling customers' browsing data to third parties without their explicit consent.
As we've reported, "The FTC's privacy guidelines are less stringent than the ones passed by the FCC and they are implemented through investigations and enforcement, rather than pre-emptive regulations". "So going forward, we will work together to establish a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world". They said broadband providers would have to operate under tougher privacy requirements than digital-advertising behemoths like Google and Facebook. He said that the "asymmetry in terms of regulation of companies that are in the same space" was "something that doesn't ultimately serve consumers well". Moreover, as a result of recent court cases, the FTC lacks jurisdiction over some internet service providers, such as AT&T. Facebook and Google possess a ton of your data, but those companies are (generally) not broadband providers, and as such, aren't subject to the same FCC rules as ISPs. "The American public wants us to strengthen privacy protections, not weaken them".
The fresh regulations come as Internet providers race to turn their customers' behavioral data into opportunities to sell targeted advertising.
The Verge also pointed out that the larger issue with this vote is that it also keeps the FCC from making similarly strict rules on Internet privacy in the future, even if Congress decides that such rules are appropriate. But broadband providers don't now fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say the FTC has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC.
Moreover, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who proposed the legislation under the Congressional Review Act after Trump took office, said repealing the guidelines would "protect consumers from overreaching internet regulation" when introducing the bill earlier this month.
Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, said: "Internet users should regularly delete cookies, install antivirus and anti-tracking software, and make sure not to enter personal passcodes and credit card information when using open Wi-Fi networks".