Republicans hope to overturn internet privacy rules

A resolution would revert the FCC's protections for broadband customers.

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Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai isn't the only one bent on rolling back internet regulations. Republican Senator Jeff Flake is planning to submit a resolution that would eliminate the FCC's recently instituted broadband privacy rules through a vote. It's not certain when the resolution would move forward, but there are reportedly 12 co-sponsors. Of course, this is assuming that the FCC doesn't act first -- Pai objected to the privacy rules in the first place.

The measures required your permission before internet providers could collect information about your browsing, app use, location and other sensitive details. The FCC also required that your ISP clearly and persistently let you know what info it's collecting, and warn you if any of that data is compromised.

Telecoms unsurprisingly object to the rules. They feel they're subject to more stringent regulation than many of the websites you visit, and believe that an opt-in requirement hurts their ability to target you with personalized ads. The problem, as you might surmise, is that this will make it considerably harder to avoid online tracking -- given the duopolies that frequently exist in American broadband, switching to a privacy-friendly ISP may be difficult or impossible. And in many cases, you may have to opt out just to get back to the default privacy levels you have today.

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