Regulations designed to give consumers more control over their online privacy appear to be dead before they were even set to begin.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines Thursday to repeal Internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission just days before Donald Trump won the election.
The rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required Internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing your data on everything from web browsing history to geo-location information.
Providers would also have been required to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared.
Jeff Flake, the Republican Senator who introduced the resolution to repeal, criticized the rules this month as “unnecessary” and “innovation-stifling regulation.”
Democrats, however, argued the repeal effectively hands over the customer’s personal information to the highest bidder. Many broadband providers already share some of their customers’ browsing behavior with advertisers. To avoid that, customers typically have to opt out — and they might not even be aware that their information is being shared.
“The American people do not want their sensitive information collected, used and sold by any third party, whether that be your broadband provider or a hacker,” Sen. Edward Markey said in a speech on the floor of the Senate hours before the vote.
“This is the first action of Congress on tech policy