States stumble on internet privacy


National News

June 1, 2018 - 11:00 PM

WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump signed the repeal of Obama-era internet service provider privacy rules last year, states rushed in to craft privacy legislation of their own. But most of those 2017 and 2018 bills have floundered, done in by the same business and industry forces that opposed the federal rules.

The Obama-era rules were intended to restrict internet service providers from selling or disseminating users’ personal information without permission. But industry representatives said those rules were burdensome and would stifle innovation and curb growth. Trump agreed.

States lined up to step into the breach. About half the states filed bills this year or last to address some or all of the internet privacy rules that were scrapped with Trump’s signature. But few have passed so far, and the ones that have mostly address small pieces of the privacy pie rather than taking comprehensive action.

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