PRESS STATEMENT: Privacy International response to stripping of FCC privacy rules

Privacy International Executive Director Dr. Gus Hosein said:

“The U.S. Congress’ vote to strip away the only rule that would have protected the right to privacy is a noticeable backslide. This vote further widens the chasm between the U.S. and the growing international consensus of the need to protect internet privacy. The fact that both Congress and the White House are abandoning the essential safeguard against having your browsing history sold to marketing agencies foreshadows increasing conflict between legal regimes across the world. How can consumers globally have confidence in the security of their data being kept in the U.S. when the government is so keen to strip away rights of everyone with such ease?

“The White House has said it ‘strongly supports’ the nullifying of this essential safeguard. This will serve corporate interests, while trampling over internet users’ right to privacy in the U.S. Our phones, computers, and array of so-called ‘smart’ devices such as connected cars, home appliances, and toys, all reveal vast amounts of personal information. With this change, your internet provider, and various third parties, may know your habits and patterns, and will be able to exploit that information about you. As threats to privacy and security increase, it is irresponsible to jettison hard-fought and meaningful privacy protections and allow wholesale access to people’s online lives.”

-ENDS-

The first sentence of this quote was changed on 30 March to further clarify our response to the vote.