Wednesday March 08, 2017

Senate Resolution to let ISP's Share Private Data Without Permission

Well, maybe it is time to sign up for that VPN service after all. Remember those sweeping privacy rules the FCC put in place back in October? Well, the Senate is apparently looking to undo them, removing the requirement that users "opt-in" before their sensitive personal data such as geolocation and web browsing history is shared. The FCC rule also allowed users to opt-out of the sharing of non-sensitive data such as email addresses and service tier data.

The argument in favor is that the FCC's regulation is harmful, as it sets different standards for search engine providers and ISP's.

It is unclear as to whether or not this resolution will pass. While Joint Resolutions are binding, they require the approval of both chambers of congress. Even without this resolution, the privacy rules approved by the FCC in October were already in trouble, as FCC chairman Ajit Pai is on the record preferring uniform rules for privacy on the internet.

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It aims to provide for congressional disapproval of the FCC rule relating to ‘‘Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services’’ under the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that empowers Congress to repeal federal regulations, according to a statement issued by Flake, who is also chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The resolution under the CRA would also prevent the FCC from issuing "similarly harmful regulations" in the future, it added.

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