Earlier under the Obama Administration’s rules, ISPs would have to obtain consumer consent before they are allowed to use financial, health and children’s information using geo-location through their web- browsing history for advertising and internal marketing purposes.
The U.S. Congress is set to repeal regulations that were adopted by the previous U.S. administration which subjected internet service providers (ISP)s to stricter scrutiny than regular websites, so as to protect the privacy of consumers.
On Tuesday, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona had introduced a resolution that was backed by 34 senators, which sought to undo the Obama era regulations under a provision that allows the Congress to repeal recently approved federal regulations.
Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who chairs a House panel community on telecommunications, had also introduced a companion measure. The Republicans control both chambers of the Congress.
Last week, the FCC had temporarily blocked some of the rules from taking effect. Consumer advocates had come out strongly against the FCC move. The move by FCC was seen as a victory for ISPs such as Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp.
Under the rules, which the Congress will now strike down, ISP would have to obtain consumer consent before they are allowed to use financial, health and children’s information using geo-location through their web- browsing history for advertising and internal marketing purposes.
As per the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was nominated by Donald Trump to serve a five-year term, consumers would have privacy rights and protections even without the rules administrated by the Obama administration.
In October 2016, Republican commissioners including Pai had stated that the rules unfairly provide websites, including, Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc, the ability to harvest more data than ISPs, which helps them to dominate the digital advertising business.
The American Civil Liberties Union had strongly criticized Flake’s proposal to undo the rules.
“With this move, Congress is essentially allowing companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to sell consumers’ private information to the highest bidder,” said Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU’s general counsel.