Senate Dems Press Internet Service Providers Over Privacy Policies

A group of Senate Democrats is asking top telecom companies to provide details of their privacy policies in the wake of Republicans’ repeal of broadband privacy rules this week.

The senators, led by Sen. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDems lambaste Trump’s ‘outrageous’ EPA chemical safety pick Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Dem senator pitches ideas for gun control after shooting MORE> (D-Mass.), sent letters containing a list of questions about privacy to AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and CenturyLink.

President Trump on Monday signed a bill repealing Federal Communications Commission rules that would have prevented internet service providers from using certain categories of their customers’ data for advertising without their permission.

ADVERTISEMENTIn their list of questions, the senators grill the companies on what their policies are regarding the use of sensitive information for advertising.

“Do you obtain affirmative opt-in consent to use, share, or sell any of the following information: web browsing history, app usage history, the content of communications, children’s information, health information, financial information, geo-location, and Social Security numbers?” reads one. 

“If yes, please detail your policy. If no, why not? If no, please disclose what information you are sharing and selling and with whom you are sharing or selling that information.”

The letter was also signed by Sens. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's 12:30 Report John Oliver rips AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE> (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Michelle Obama is exactly who the Democrats need to win big in 2020 Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing MORE> (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE> (I-Vt.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax CEO faces outraged lawmakers | Dem presses voting machine makers on cyber defense | Yahoo says 3 billion accounts affected by 2013 breach MORE> (D-Ore.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE> (D-Vt.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Republicans pushed the bill to repeal the rules through the House and Senate last month, prompting an outcry from consumer advocates and privacy groups. The bill’s proponents argue that the rules unfairly subjected internet service providers to restrictions not faced by websites like Facebook and Google, which also employ data-driven marketing.

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