Your Browser Is Their Business: Trump Signs Bill Blocking Online Privacy Regulation
President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits.
The bill bypassed the Federal Communications Commission online privacy regulation that was issued in October to give consumers more control over how companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast share that information. The regulation was scheduled to take effect later this year but Congress used its power under the Congressional Review Act to erase it from the books.
Using the Congressional Review Act, President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are using a 20-year old law to void regulations that were finalized in the closing months of Barack Obama's presidency. Critics have made arguments that the rule would hinder innovation and pick winners and losers among internet companies.
Supporters of the bill say that the companies that sell the internet connection will be able to learn more about consumers, such as every website they visit and emails they send. Using this private information supporters of the bill believe it will be beneficial for advertisers and marketers.
Undoing the privacy regulation will leave people's online information up for grabs. Companies that provide internet service will have access to the public's private information and can use it to their own advantage. Consumer advocates worry that this will make companies a target for hackers.