Congress Approves Joint Resolution to Repeal FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules, Signed into Law by President Trump
On April 3, President Trump signed into law a measure (S.J.Res. 34) rescinding the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband privacy rules related to Internet service providers (ISPs). As previously covered on InfoBytes, the privacy rules—passed last year in a 3-2 party-line vote under former Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler—require, among other things, that ISPs receive express consent from users concerning the use of their personal data for marketing purposes. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has taken the position that the new FCC regulations are inconsistent with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) framework. The rules had been partially stayed by the FCC in response to multiple reconsideration petitions. Approved last week in the Senate by a 50-48 margin, and subsequently passed by a 215-205 House vote, S.J.Res. 34 was sent to President Trump on Friday for his signature. The President signed the joint resolution into law on Monday evening, thereby repealing the FCC regulations pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 801-808. Notably, per the language of the resolution—which was originally introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in early March—the FCC is also prohibited from re-issuing new rules without the passage of a new law authorizing them.