Last October, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through a set of privacy rulings that defined private information to include things like users’ locations, their browsing history, their financial and health information and the what they actually say inside the body of their emails and texts. These definitions are essentially a strike against the Internet Service Providers, since those informations are extraordinarily valuable to marketers — and potentially dangerous to consumers. Data on your online activities can be used to infer whether you have a particular health condition and what your finances are like and could be used to discriminate against you when it comes to applying for a job, trying to buy a house or getting credit.
However, last Thursday Senate Republicans passed S.J. Res. 34, which nullifies the FCC’s privacy ruling last year. The passage was voted along party line with Republicans favoring the repeal and Democrats opposing. The repeal gives ISPs the ability to sell consumer data to marketers unless consumers explicitly opt out. A similar bill will be going through the House, which will likely pass, again along party lines. The White House has issued a press release indicating President Trump will sign the bill into law.