Anger as US internet privacy law scrapped

Head of the Federal Communications Commission

US internet service providers will soon no longer need consent from users to share browsing history with marketers and other third parties.

On Tuesday the House of Representatives voted to repeal an Obama-era law that demanded ISPs have permission to share personal information – including location data.

Supporters of the move said it would increase competition, but critics said it would have a “chilling effect” on online privacy.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the order soon.

The repeal was strongly backed by major providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, who argued that ISPs were being subject to stricter privacy laws than companies like Google or Facebook.

The law, passed last October days before President Trump was elected, and due to take effect by the end of this year, would have forced ISPs to get clear permission from users to share personal data such as “precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children’s information, social security numbers, web browsing history, app usage history and the content of communications”.

Furthermore, ISPs would have been ordered to allow their customers the ability to opt out of the sharing of less sensitive information, like an email address.

Source: BBC

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