Republicans introduce new bill on internet privacy

Just weeks after facing public backlash for killing internet privacy rules passed during the Obama administration, a newly sponsored bill by the GOP House promises to plunge the issue back to the drawing board.

President Trump had signed legislation voiding Obama’s FCC bill that was passed last year.  The FCC bill mandated that before data could be shared with advertisers, internet service providers must receive permission from customers.

Those opposing the bill, including Republicans and the ISPs, argued that it would place restrictions upon the ISPs that sites such as Amazon, Facebook and Google (otherwise referred to as edge services) do not have to abide by – when they are the ones now responsible for the majority of internet advertising.

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee has now introduced a new bill that would  require both ISPs and edge services to get customers’ permission before sharing private data, such as browsing history, geolocation and financial information with advertisers.

The Hill reported that Blackburn was a key player in killing the original bill passed during the Obama administration, and received a lot of backlash for it. Her new proposal now promises to appease the critics, although social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are already voicing opposition to the newly proposed rules.

“This bill has the potential to upend the consumer experience online and stifle innovation,” Internet Association spokesman Noah Theran said in a statement. “Policymakers must recognize that websites and apps continue to be under strict [Federal Trade Commission] privacy enforcement and are not in an enforcement gap, unlike other stakeholders in the ecosystem.”

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