House of Representatives voted to repeal FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules

UnknownOn March 28, 2017, the US House of Representatives approved 215 to 205 a joint resolution to repeal the order “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” (“Order”) published on November 2016. See here.

The joint resolution (S.J.RES34) passed by the US Senate and the House of Representatives disapproves the Order submitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code.

The Order will be formally nullified once signed by the President (Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. §801(b)(1)).

The FCC will be prevented from reissuing the rules unless authorized by a law enacted after the date of the joint resolution. (Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. §801(b)(2)).

The FCC decision had been challenged by several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and already stayed in part. See here and here.

Broadband providers will now be able to sell the browsing history of their customers to other companies that can use that information to send targeted advertising.

In a conference call with reporters before the vote, ISPs suggested that broadband privacy enforcement could in the future be “harmonized” across ISPs and edge providers so that consumers would have consistent treatment of their online data, preferably through a “privacy by design” approach based on the sensitivity of data.

S.J. Res. 34, 115th Cong. (as approved by the Senate, Mar. 23, 2017) is available at https://www.congress.gov…

For more information on how one could protect the privacy of his or her online activity, contact Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

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