It’s official. Yesterday afternoon United States President Donald Trump signed a bill into law (S.J 34/H.J. 86), repealing FCC online privacy protections for consumers browsing online. As expected Trump signed the bill, officially killing regulations previously created by the FCC just weeks before last year’s presidential election. His signature followed votes in both the Senate and House to disapprove the rules.
As a result, ISPs will NOT have to seek explicit consumer consent before sharing and selling their personal information to advertisers and third parties. The signature is a win for the broadband providers (ISPs) who will retain their ability to conduct invasive practices to collect, sell and share consumer data.
Now that the rules have been officially killed (they were never enforced), the FCC will have to suggest an entirely new framework for privacy if they wish to enact protections in the future. The Chairman of the FCC indicated after the signing that the agency would work with the FTC, who oversees website regulation, in protecting privacy. Likely, Trump’s signature is also an indication of new, broader changes to privacy protections on the horizon.
What You Can Do
The best way to protect your privacy is to get a VPN and use it every time you connect to the Internet. A VPN encrypts your Internet connection, preventing your ISP from viewing – and subsequently selling – your online activity and personal information.
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Read more about this topic in our recent blog posts:
- Congress Kills ISP Privacy Regulations – It’s Time for Open Access
- Congress Votes to Block Privacy Rules for ISPs: How To Protect Your Internet Data and Personal Information
- Senate Votes to Block FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules
- FCC Blocks Regulations to Protect Consumer Internet Privacy