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Don’t expect the White House to back new privacy rules anytime soon

After scrapping the Obama-era plan, Trump’s team isn’t ready to talk about writing a law.

President Trump Discusses Healthcare Plan With Key House Committee Chairmen
President Trump meets with White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short 
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

The White House signaled it is not ready to write new online privacy legislation, even after President Donald Trump signed a measure that rolled back restrictions imposed by Democrats on companies like AT&T, Comcast, Charter and Verizon.

Earlier this week, Trump delivered the final blow to the rules, implemented by the Federal Communications Commission last year, that would have required internet providers to seek customers’ permission before sharing their sensitive data with advertisers and other third parties.

The president’s move triggered a groundswell of opposition from internet users and privacy rights organizations. But telecom giants applauded the efforts by lawmakers and the White House to kill the rules, arguing that the FCC’s privacy directive would not have applied to Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google. The Trump administration felt similarly about the rules, which officials said this month would have created “very different regulatory regimes based on the identity of the online actor.”

Asked, however, if the White House might now seek broader privacy legislation that applies to the whole of the internet ecosystem — from broadband providers to tech companies — the Trump administration’s chief legislative aide cast doubt on the idea.

Trump’s adviser, Marc Short, told reporters during an on-record briefing Wednesday that “we were content right now on pulling back” on the previous FCC’s privacy rules. “I think when we are able to nominate and confirm our own people on the FCC, I’m sure they’ll take a fresh look at that.” (The agency has two open slots.)

“I’m not telling you there will be legislation required,” Short added, explaining that “for now we thought it was appropriate to sign the legislation to repeal” what the Obama administration did.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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