House Abandons Consumers in Vote to Dismantle Americans’ Online Privacy

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Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a joint resolution dismantling online privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Order by way of the Congressional Review Act. This bill not only terminates the FCC’s privacy rules but also prevents the agency from creating similar privacy protections in the future. Now that both the House and Senate have passed the bill, it will proceed to President Trump’s desk for final approval or veto.

The following can be attributed to Dallas Harris, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:

“In a move that defies basic concern for consumer choice, the House voted to strip Americans of the strongest online privacy protections to date. Some Members of Congress have suggested that removing these rules enables the FTC to act as the chief regulator in the online space. To be clear, the FTC cannot regulate broadband providers due to a Congressionally mandated exemption for common carriers. This bill does not change that. The truth is that once President Trump signs this resolution, there will be no effective federal cop on the beat to proactively protect consumer information collected by ISPs.

“Without the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, Americans go from being internet users to marketing data -- from people to the product. Congress has sided with ISPs over consumers. Americans won’t forget.”

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