President of the United States, Donald Trump, has repealed the landmark internet privacy rule that protected the internet users from what the internet providers (IPs) could do with the customers' private information, such as selling them to the Government.
The bill repeals regulations adopted in October, last year, by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet's Google or Facebook.
Just about last week, Republicans in Congress narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules with no Democratic support and over the strong objections of privacy advocates and on Monday finally signed the repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules, which is seen to be a win for the IPs, as the previous rules, which were set to take effect in December required them to obtain customers' permission before collecting or sharing their personal data on their web-surfing habits.
While the bill garnered much criticism from many experts in the field who advocate protecting people's privacy, FCC Ajit Pai praised the repeal in a statement saying that the new bill has "appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the internet." He also added that those flawed privacy rules adopted in last October, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favoured companies, not online consumers," reported CNBC. Pai has further stated that now FCC would work with Federal Trade Commission, to restore "FTC's authority to police internet service providers' privacy practices."
Republican FCC commissioners also seem happy with the repeal as they said that the Obama rules would have given an unfair ability to websites to harvest more data than the IPs, reported the publication.
"A measure to roll back crucial privacy protections has crossed the finish line, and Internet users are worse off for it," the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News. It also noted that the measure to repeal the privacy rules also bars the FCC from creating similar protections in the future.
Furthermore, Republicans are expected to move to overturn net neutrality provisions, which is likely to evoke an even bigger fight.