Trump Signs Resolution That Will Allow Internet Providers To Sell Customers History

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The FCC privacy rules killed by resolution signed by Trump

Today, President Trump signed a resolution reversing an Obama-era rule that restricted what internet providers could do with their customers’ data. This is a major blow to consumer privacy.

Overturning privacy:

The privacy rule previously prevented internet providers from using, sharing, or selling a customer’s web browsing history without getting their clear permission first.

The rule had also required for internet providers to take “reasonable” steps to secure their customers’ data from hackers and to notify them in the event of a breach.

However, Republicans stated that the customers were confused by the rules, and that they were unfair to internet providing companies.

They argued that it these rules should also cover web companies like Facebook and Google, and the fact that they didn’t, didn’t make sense.

Data for sale:

The Republicans’ argument isn’t a sound one; internet providers and companies such as Google and Facebook perform two clearly different tasks. The first deliver data, while the second run businesses on the web.

But that distinction, as well as security and privacy concerns for their constituents, didn’t stop Republicans from approving the resolution and passing it in both the House and Senate.

Last Thursday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer spoke to the press and said that overthrowing the privacy rules “will allow service providers to be treated fairly and consumer protection and privacy concerns to be reviewed on an equal playing field.”

But however you look at it, there’s no upside for customers in this new scenario. At the moment, selling individually identifiable browser histories is unlikely to happen, but weakening these privacy regulations very much gives internet providers way more leeway when using their customers’ data to target ads.