President Trump signs bill that allows ISPs to sell your internet data

The bill overturns Obama-era privacy rules, which Republicans considered unfair.
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President Donald Trump signed a bill Monday that allows Internet Service Providers to freely collect and sell what you look at on the internet.

The bill narrowly passed both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate last week, despite objections from privacy advocates who argued people's private data should be, well, private.

The measure repeals FCC rules from the Obama administration that would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get a user's permission before collecting and using things like their geolocation and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.

Many Republicans saw this as unfair because the Obama-era rules would require ISPs to do more to protect someone's privacy than websites like Facebook and Google, which are allowed to sell and track someone's data, Reuters reports.

After Trump signed the bill into law, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai praised the bill in a statement, saying the "flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers."

Pai said the FCC will be working with the Federal Trade Commission to "restore the FTC's authority to police Internet Service Providers' privacy practices."

Minnesota moves to protect your data

Last week, after the internet privacy bill passed Congress, Minnesota lawmakers moved to protect users' privacy.

Minnesota Sen. Ron Latz, during discussion over a larger economics bill, offered up this amendment: It would require ISPs that contract in Minnesota to get written permission from Minnesota customers before collecting their personal information.

So you’d have to physically sign an agreement saying, “Yes ISP, you can collect my browsing data” before they can collect and sell the data gathered from your web browsing.

And a handful of ISPs have said they won't be selling customers' information, including Paul Bunyan Communications, which provides internet service to parts of northern Minnesota. The company said last week “no matter what the law allows,” the company does “not collect and sell member’s web browsing history.”

Reuters reports Comcast, Verizon and AT&T have all said they won't sell a customer's browsing information either.

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