Donald Trump has signed a controversial measure that would allow Internet providers to more easily sell user data to third parties without their consent. The repeal of the Obama-era FCC regulation passed through Congress along narrow party-line votes.
The repeal was a major win for Internet providers like Verizon and Comcast, who will now have almost carte blanche access to user data from web companies like Google and Facebook. The Obama-era rule — which had not yet taken effect —would have required companies to receive user permission before selling their data to third parties.
“President Trump and Congress have appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the Internet,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee. “Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers.”
Democrats and civil libertarian lobbied strenuously and unsuccessfully against the measure. The move from Trump is part of a robust, though under the radar, effort to shake up the way Americans receive Internet services. Congressional Republicans have already signaled their intention to overturn so-called “Net Neutrality,” which requires Internet providers to create equal access to all online content.
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