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House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

Reversing the rule could, eventually, allow providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers.

Trump's signature on the resolution passed Tuesday would kill FCC rules requiring broadband providers to receive opt-in customer permission to share sensitive personal information, including web-browsing history, geolocation, and financial details with third parties.

Congress voted yesterday, 215 to 205, to follow suit, passing a resolution to overturn the Obama-era rules.

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.

Republicans and industry groups have blasted that discrepancy, saying it is unfair and confusing for consumers.

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"Moving forward, I want the American people to know that the FCC will work with the FTC to ensure that consumers' online privacy is protected though a consistent and comprehensive framework", Mr Pai said.

"Click through that privacy policy, figure out what the collection processes are, and either change your preferences from within that website, or decide you're going to take your business elsewhere, that's still an option for consumers", Luehr said.

However, critics say the rule will stifle innovation and pick winners and losers among internet companies.

The ISPs had argued that the Federal Trade Commission already regulates privacy.

Republicans in Congress on Tuesday narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules with no Democratic support and over the strong objections of privacy advocates. Broadband providers don't now fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say it has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC.

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The Senate voted along party lines to undo the rules last week. Still, Republicans in Congress voted to allow these corporations to profit off of their consumers, selling simple data to advertisers in order to make a quick buck. That means the regulations will nearly certainly be rolled back, when the resolution is sent to the President for signing into law. FCC chairman Ajit Pai praised the decision of Congress to overturn "privacy regulations created to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies".

Unsurprisingly, numerous lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill have received campaign donations from companies or employees of companies that stand to benefit from it ― corporations such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. So if President Donald Trump signs the measure, as the White House has indicated he will, the status quo will remain.

So instead, they're going to get no regulation at all on this matter.

A VPN (virtual private network) adds security and privacy to the Internet, public and private networks and WiFi hot spots.

Opponents to the laws suggest that broadband providers would face an undue burden in comparison with other large internet firms such as Facebook and Google, who are now free to collect data without permission.

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"If the rules are repealed", the letter said, "large ISPs across America would resume spying on their customers, selling their data, and denying them a practical and informed choice in the matter".



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