Consumer advocates are steaming over the Senate vote Thursday to repeal broadband privacy rules issued by the Federal Communications Committee last year that were set to go into effect.
The Consumer Federation of America said Friday that the Senate used “a sledgehammer, the Congressional Review Act, to smash hopes that Americans will finally have real control over the highly personal information that their broadband internet service providers can collect about them.”
The Senate voted on party lines (50 to 48) to repeal the broadband privacy rules. The House is expected to take up the measure soon.
The FCC’s rule set out that broadband users’ personal information belongs to them, not to their internet service provider.
The move, according to the New York Times, means Verizon, Comcast or AT&T can continue tracking and sharing people’s browsing and app activity without permission.
Under the FCC rule, ISPs are required to get customers’ approval to use or share their data for purposes beyond what is necessary to provide them with the service that they’re paying for, such as profiling them based on their online activities and selling that information to advertisers.