Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are among 46 U.S. Senate Democrats who have signed a letter asking President Donald Trump to veto a Congressional resolution that repeals new internet privacy rules that would have been enforced by the Federal Communications Commission.
The rules were crafted during the Obama administration and were about to take effect. They would have made internet service providers get customers' permission before gathering their personal data and web browsing habits and selling them to third parties.
Republican majorities in the Senate and House nixed the rules on what were virtually party-line votes, leaving Trump as the last hope for those who fear companies will profit from people's personal details without them knowing. In general, internet providers can collect and distribute personal data unless customers specifically tell them not to. The process for doing so is often buried in he fine print of contracts.
Franken said in a statement to the Star Tribune that "your digital footprint—the sites you browse, the apps you use, and the sensitive data you provide to websites—deserves to be protected. But Congressional Republicans recently passed legislation to put money in the pockets of big corporations by letting them more easily sell your personal data."
Klobuchar told the Star Tribune that “internet providers shouldn't be allowed to sell the personal information of Americans without their consent ... whether it be location data or web history or health information."
Republicans legislators say the Federal Trade Commission, which has traditionally monitored privacy issues, can still punish companies that don't follow existing privacy rules.
The Republican president may tow the party line. Breitbart News, the conservative media outlet once run by Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon, reports that Trump will sign the privacy repeal resolution.