Sen. Ed Markey criticized the move, which he said allows individuals' personal information to be "shared and sold to the highest bidder without their permission." - From Boston.com
Republican lawmakers and the new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, have said the privacy rules were onerous and unfairly strapped regulations on telecom carriers, but not on web companies such as Facebook and Google that also provide access to online content.
Under the internet privacy rules that Wheeler passed, apart from broadband providers having to ask permission to track browsing and other online activities of a user, the companies were also required to use “reasonable measures” to secure consumer data against hackers.
Comcast and other broadband providers created the lobbying group 21st Century Privacy Coalition, led by a former Federal Trade Commission chairman, Jon Leibowitz, to defeat the broadband privacy rules.
Since the presidential election, the companies have pushed the new Republican-led FCC, lawmakers and the White House to roll back net neutrality, the requirement that broadband providers give equal access to all content on the internet, saying the rules hamper their ability to invest in new networks and jobs.
The Federal Trade Commission, the consumer protection agency, is barred from overseeing broadband providers, so without the FCC privacy rules, the federal government will be a weaker watchdog over internet privacy, supporters of the regulations said.