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US Senate Overturns Obama Consumer Privacy Rule

The FCC regulation, passed in October, was rejected in a 50-to-48 vote and is now in the House of Representatives.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule requiring internet providers to seek consumer’s permission before sharing their personal details received a setback yesterday after the US Senate voted it out, Reuters reports. The regulation now goes to the House of Representatives for approval.

This decision – 50 for and 48 against - is seen as a victory for internet providers. Democratic members of the FCC and Federal Trade Commission described it as creating "a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies now have no discernible privacy requirements." While FCC chief Ajit Pai assured consumers would continue to have privacy, the Consumers Union says the vote "is a huge step in the wrong direction, and it completely ignores the needs and concerns of consumers."

The Obama administration introduced this rule in October, but the FCC delayed it from taking effect. Following its introduction, Republicans voiced concerns that such a rule would give undue advantage to Facebook, Twitter, and Google in digital advertising.

Democrat Ed Markey says, "Republicans have just made it easier for American's sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared, and sold to the highest bidder without their permission."

Read details here.

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