President Donald Trump signed a resolution on Monday that officially repeals US broadband privacy rules.
The rules, which were yet to come into effect, would have required ISPs and mobile networks to get user permission before sharing and selling their private information to advertisers.
Trump’s action follows the Senate and House voting to eliminate the rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission during Barack Obama’s presidency.
The FCC privacy rules would have required home Internet and mobile broadband providers to get consumers’ opt-in consent before using, sharing, or selling Web browsing history, app usage history, and other private information. The opt-in provision could have taken effect as early as December 4, 2017.
Trump’s signature comes a few days after both houses of Congress narrowly voted to stop the rules, which were adopted last year but had not yet taken effect.
Those FCC regulations were the strictest ever been imposed to protect consumer online privacy. Even though the rules only included broadband and wireless providers, and excluded internet companies like Google and Facebook, proponents saw it as a first step in giving consumers more control of their personal data online.
Supporters argued that without the rules, broadband providers will be able to sell information about where you’ve been online, what you’re buying, the apps you’re using and where you’re located to marketers and other third parties, like insurance companies.
Meanwhile, internet service providers said the regulations were too strict and unfairly singled out broadband providers, because they required broadband companies to adhere to a more stringent privacy standard than internet companies must follow.
In repealing the rules, Republicans used the Congressional Review Act, a tool that enables lawmakers to expedite bills to reverse recent regulations. The Act also prohibits the Federal Communications Commission from adopting similar rules in the future.