Don't Repeal Common-Sense Privacy Rules

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The resolution of disapproval that would repeal the FCC's privacy rules (H.J.Res. 86 and S.J.Res. 34) will harm Americans and our internet economy.

This bill would wipe out protections for Americans’ private communications, giving internet providers the green light to sell that info without permission.

Categories of Sensitive Communications Information Protected Under Broadband Privacy Rule? Protected Under this Resolution?
History of every website and app a consumer has visited or used, including history that reveals private interests and associations, such as visits to an addiction support forum, an online sports bookie, or a gun auction platform YES NO
Location, time, and destination/origin of online communications and activity, including text message history that reveals every person a customer exchanges text messages with, how often, and at what hours of the day YES NO
Video-on-demand history, including history that reveals prefer-ences for, for instance, political documentaries or religious programming YES NO
Information related to consumer finances or health YES NO
Precise geolocation of consumer devices at all times, day or night YES NO

This resolution would also eliminate the common-sense requirement that internet providers protect this information from harmful cyberattacks and inform consumers when their data has been compromised.

Under the FCC’s existing rules, internet providers must adopt reasonable security measures to protect Americans’ information from harmful attackers. If data is breached, the rules require internet providers to inform consumers. If the resolution succeeds, there will no longer be any rules on the books ensuring that providers shield consumers’ data from hackers or inform customers of breaches.

This resolution will stymie future attempts by the FCC to protect privacy.

Not only would this resolution eliminate existing protections as outlined above, but it would prohibit the FCC from adopting similar rules in the future, leaving no cop on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy.

ATTACHMENT:

Don't Repeal Common-Sense Privacy Rules Backgrounder

Author:

Eric Null is policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, focusing on internet openness and affordability issues, including network neutrality, Lifeline, and privacy.