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Trump signs bill repealing US internet privacy rules

The rules would have required wireless and broadband providers to get your permission before sharing your sensitive, private information.

President Donald Trump signed a resolution on Monday that officially repeals Obama-era broadband privacy rules.

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. The rules would have required broadband and wireless companies to get your permission before sharing sensitive information about you, such as the websites you visit, the apps you use or even your location.

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.

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