President Donald Trump on Monday signed a bill that repeals a set of regulations requiring internet service providers to request permission before selling their customers’ data to advertisers, or before using it in marketing campaigns.
The signing, disclosed in White House statement late on Monday, follows strong criticism of the bill, which is a win for AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc.
The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc’s Google or Facebook Inc.
The bill removes the limitations of the rules, which limited how ISPs can use and share customer information, including financial info, browsing histories, health info and more. The new law not only repeals the Obama-era privacy protections, many of which were not yet in full effect, and also bars the FCC from adopting similar rules in the future.
The bill President Trump signed on Monday passed the U.S. Senate in late March, largely down party lines. It hit the House of Representatives less than a week later, where it squeaked by with a vote of 215 to 205.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the repeal in a statement on Monday for having “appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the internet.” Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers.”