Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Consumer Internet Privacy Rules

The regulations were intended to require more transparency on the part of ISPs.
Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Consumer Internet Privacy Rules
Image credit: Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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The U.S. Senate voted today to repeal a set of rules approved under the Obama administration that were meant to safeguard consumer data from being collected by internet service providers without a user’s knowledge or consent.

The regulations were set to go into effect in February, but were halted by current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. In early March, a bill to reverse the rules was introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The vote was narrowly split along party lines, with 50 Republicans for it and 48 Democrats against. The measure will now go to the House of Representatives to be voted on at a to-be-determined date.

Related: FCC Chairman Pledges to Undo Net Neutrality Rules
 

Had the rules been implemented, ISPs would have been required to get a customer's permission before using and sharing information such as geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information, social security numbers, web browsing history, app usage history and the content of communications.

Additionally, it would have required ISPs to provide customers with clear, conspicuous and persistent notice about the information they collect, how it may be used and with whom it may be shared, as well as how customers can change their privacy preferences.

At the time of their adoption, then FCC Chair Tom Wheeler said: “The bottom line is that it’s your data. How it’s used and shared should be your choice.”

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