Proposed Congressional Legislation
Approved by the Senate on March 23, 2017
Approved by the House on March 28, 2017
In the United States Congress, a joint resolution was introduced that seeks to overrule a prior regulation promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On January 3, 2017, the “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services” went into effect implementing rules that would  protect customer proprietary information (personal information) and  require customer approval requirements for the use and disclosure of a customer’s personal information by the service carrier. The resolution introduced in Congress states that “Congress disapproves of the rule submitted” and “such rule shall have no force or effect.” The Senate approved the resolution on March 23, 2017, by a 50 – 48 vote. The House of Representatives passed a companion resolution on March 28, 2017, by a 215 – 205 vote. The bill has now been sent to President Trump who is expected to sign the bill. LEARN MORE
The proposed legislation is a step in the wrong direction. The effect of nullifying the FCC rule is that service carriers who provide a platform for people to go online now have no limits on what they are permitted to do with the personal information they collect from their customers. A customer’s personal information (name, address, phone numbers and the content of their communications) can be used to identify specific people and reasonably link them to the information they view and download on the Internet. Without the protection of the FCC rule, service carriers can distribute and/or sell the information which will expose customers to unwanted target advertising as well as increased instances of identity theft and criminal stalking. LEARN MORE
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – foundation focused on defending your rights in the digital world.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) – research center dedicated to online privacy and civil liberty issues.
This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact email@example.com.