×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Signs Repeal of FCC’s Internet Privacy Rules

President Trump on Monday signed a resolution that scuttles a set of privacy rules adopted by the FCC last year, including requirements that internet providers obtain consumers’ consent before sharing or selling their browsing information and other data.

USTelecom, the trade association representing internet service providers, argued that the FCC’s rules, which had yet to go into effect, imposed a more onerous set of regulations on ISPs than those required of internet sites like Google and Facebook.

“Consumers should feel confident that the steps taken today won’t change anything other than clearing the path for regulators to institute uniform privacy rules that will keep their sensitive information private and secure,” said Jonathan Spalter, the CEO of USTelecom.

But public interest groups, congressional Democrats, and even “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert have blasted the repeal of the rules. They say that it shows the influence of big money in politics, and makes little sense given public concern over the protection of their personal information online.

The FCC’s rules would have required that internet providers obtain an “opt in” from their subscribers before they could sell or share personal information, data gathering that has proven lucrative as a way to draw advertisers. The type of information covered by the rules included browsing history and app usage. Major internet providers like Comcast say that they do not sell that information to third parties anyway and have their own privacy policies in place.

Congress last month approved the resolution to repeal the privacy rules. It also prevents the FCC from adopting similar rules in the future.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement that “American consumers’ privacy deserves to be protected regardless of who handles their personal information. “

He said that the FCC would be working with the FTC to “restore the FTC’s authority to police Internet service providers’ privacy practices.

“We need to put America’s most experienced and expert privacy cop back on the beat.  And we need to end the uncertainty and confusion that was created in 2015 when the FCC intruded in this space.”

Chris Lewis, vice president at public interest group Public Knowledge, said that “most Americans have only one choice for high-speed broadband service, and now these broadband monopolies can set their own privacy policies, change them on a whim, or leave us with no protections at all.

Lewis added, “These companies can also force Americans to pay to preserve their online data, as some companies have posited. This potentially raises broadband prices for everyone and forces poor Americans to choose between their privacy and access to the internet — period.”

More Biz

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

  • Cesar Sayoc Headshot

    Florida Man Pleads Guilty in CNN Pipe Bomb Case

    A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump. Cesar Sayoc appeared in federal court in New York, where he pleaded to 65 counts stemming from the mailing of 16 devices. He faces life in prison, plus 120 months, at his sentencing on Sept. 12. [...]

  • Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion Per

    Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion per Month as Company Loses Fizz

    Growing regulatory encroachments into its games business, a smaller than expected spin-off for its music division, and a fourth quarter profits drop, pointed to a troubling year for Chinese tech giant Tencent. Its financial results for the full 2018 period, while delivering profits of nearly $1 billion a month, appeared to bear out that thesis. [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    WGA Leaders to Meet With Showrunners on Agency Packaging Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

    WGA leaders are set to meet Wednesday night with a group of showrunners who are raising concerns about the guild’s handling of negotiations with talent agents over the issue of packaging fees and agency-affiliated productions. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at WGA West headquarters. WGA West president David Goodman is expected to attend. [...]

  • Bill Murray St Vincent 2014

    Weinstein Co. Sued Over Trademark Infringement in Bill Murray Film

    A horse-racing announcer has sued the Weinstein Co., claiming that the company infringed on his trademarked phrase in a 2014 Bill Murray movie. Dave Johnson is the man behind “And down the stretch they come!,” which he began using while calling races in Illinois in the 1960s. The phrase took off when Johnson moved to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content