Photo Courtesy of YouTube/TellaFella
“Signing this rollback into law would mean private data from our laptops, iPads, and even our cell phones would be fair game for internet companies to sell and make a fast buck,” Sen. Schumer said.
By Forum Staff
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer this week called on President Donald Trump to veto a resolution, which passed both the Senate and House of Representatives last week, that rolls back broadband privacy regulations that were put in place late last year by the Federal Communication Commission to prevent internet service providers from collecting and selling personal sensitive information, like health care, finances, social security numbers and more.
According to Schumer, if Trump approves the resolution, the contents of an individual’s emails or web browsing history could be sold to third parties by broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T without that person’s explicit consent. Schumer explained that because the bill was sent to Trump last Friday, and according to rules, he now has just nine days make a decision, “and tell us whose side he’s really on,” New York’s senior senator added.
“If President Trump clicks his pen and signs this resolution, consumers will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York Minute,” Schumer said. “Signing this rollback into law would mean private data from our laptops, iPads, and even our cellphones would be fair game for internet companies to sell and make a fast buck. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that their private information should be just that—private—and not for sale without their knowledge. That’s why I’m publicly urging President Trump to veto this resolution. He has just nine days to tell us whose side he is really on, and I hope it is the side of millions of consumers. Most would agree: a family’s deeply personal information—like Social Security number, finances and health background—should not be sold to the highest bidder.”
Schumer noted that by overturning the broadband privacy rules, companies will be able to learn more about an individual’s identity and track personal habits. For instance, Schumer said that ISPs may sell personal data on a person who might be pregnant and googling baby products; or ISPs may sell personal data on a person who might have cancer and is googling cancer treatment options; or a person who might have an addiction problem who is googling rehabilitation centers. Schumer said that these examples show how serious this issue is and how important consumer privacy is to people nationwide. Under the Senate bill, private browsing information and app-usage history is compromised.
Last week, Schumer and 45 other Senate Democrats signed a letter urging the president to veto the resolution.
“The rules that this legislation would undo were enacted by the FCC in order to prohibit internet service providers from selling or sharing the sensitive personal data of their customers without first obtaining consent,” the senators wrote in the missive. “The data protected under the rule includes information such as one’s social security number, email contents, web browsing history, precise geo-location, application usage, data about consumer’s health and finances, and even data about their children. In deeming this sort of information as sensitive, and requiring explicit opt-in consent before it can be shared, the FCC sent a clear message that the choice should be in the hands of consumers—not the broadband providers.”