U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules, the White House said, a victory for internet service providers and a blow to privacy advocates.
Republicans in Congress last week narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules with no Democratic support and over the strong objections of privacy advocates.
The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet's Google or Facebook.
The rules had not yet taken effect but would have required internet providers to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the repeal in a statement late on Monday for having "appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the internet." Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers."
Pai said the FCC would work with the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees websites, to restore the "FTC's authority to police internet service providers' privacy practices."
Republican FCC commissioners have said the Obama rules would unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than internet service providers.