Congress Set to Vote to Overturn FCC Net Privacy Rules

Congress is set to vote Thursday to nullify the new broadband privacy rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission last year.

The rules, which would have required Internet service providers to ask customers’ permission to collect, use and sell personal information, were passed Oct. 27, 2016 by the FCC, then chaired by Democrat Tom Wheeler.

But Republicans are poised to overturn the rules entirely, using the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to dismiss regulations recently enacted by the previous administration with a simple majority vote in the Senate.

The FCC put “heavy-handed” rules on ISPs than on online content providers and other Net industries that amounted to “bad regulation,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who proposed the review of the rules, on Wednesday.

But Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., called the Congressional Review Act “a blunt congressional tool” that would not only “wipe out thoughtful rules,” but also prevent the FCC from reintroducing similar rules. He also echoed the concerns of many consumer advocates that nullifying the privacy rules would make it easier for ISPs to sell consumer data to marketers.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Mike Snider

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