Senate and House Republicans, respectively, voted in late March to repeal the Obama-era privacy regulations that were set to take place later this year.
“This will allow service providers to be treated fairly and consumer protection and privacy concerns to be viewed on an equal playing field”, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
On Monday, United States president Donald Trump officially repealed the federal online privacy protections from previous year. And in the meantime, most ISPs do not yet collect and sell your data in the way the proposed rules would have restricted. Gigi Sohn, counselor for former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, stated that the repeal means that all these companies can now sell user data and personal information to the highest bidder without the need of users’ consent, notes The Verge. “The only agency with jurisdiction over broadband providers, the FCC, is now prohibited from creating similar rules to protect consumers in the future”.
Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T announced that they have no plans to profit from sharing their customers’ personal information with advertisers, despite the overturned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines.
AT&T says in its privacy statement it “will not sell your personal information to anyone, for any objective”.
Bob Quinn, a senior executive vice president at AT&T, struck a defiant tone in a blog post Friday, slamming privacy groups for ignoring “facts”. “We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history”.
“I applaud President Trump and Congress for utilizing the [Congressional Review Act] to undo the FCC’s detrimental privacy rules”, he said in a public statement.
We’ll continue pushing for these specific privacy protections where we can. So, what’s the best way to protect yourself? Take, for example, Express VPN, which is the world’s largest premium VPN service provider. As the US debate on online privacy and net neutrality is heating up, an update on the situation is expected to follow soon.
Here’s how it works: ExpressVPN encrypts your data and protects your online activity, passwords, and sensitive information. You can even change your IP address and location.