The Senate Thursday voted 50-48 to repeal an Obama administration FCC rule limiting the gathering of customer data by internet service providers. Big ISPs like Verizon and Comcast will now be able to collect personal browsing data on the users they connect to the internet without first asking their permission. The resolution must now be voted on by the GOP-controlled House.
Research shows that Americans are increasingly concerned about the privacy and security of their personal information, as data theft by hackers continues to accelerate. The bulk collection of browsing data provides another massive target for hackers, who steal large blocks of data and sell it on the dark web to those who combine it with other data to complete the identities of potential victims.
Wireless and wired internet service providers have for years sought to buffer their low-growth broadband businesses by selling user data to data brokers who sell ad-targeting data to advertisers.