The Senate voted today to overturn privacy rules that would bar internet service providers from selling their customers' information without their explicit permission.
The vote to kill the rule was split along party lines, passing 50-48, and will next move on to the House, the Los Angeles Times reported.
While the privacy rules were passed last year, they had not yet gone into effect. If they had, ISPs like Verizon would have needed a customer's permission before sharing data. ISPs and Republicans were against this rule because it did not include social media networks and other websites that also collect and disseminate such data.
The LA Times reported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying Wednesday that the privacy regulations make “the internet an uneven playing field” and stifle innovation.
Democrats took an opposing view saying it is merely the start of a Republican effort to eliminate telecom policies put in place under President Obama.
“Today, 50 members of the U.S. Senate voted to sell their constituents' most personal information to the highest bidder. They used a blatantly undemocratic Congressional procedure to gut basic protections that prevent Internet Service Providers, like Comcast and Verizon, from selling their customers' personal information to marketers without their permission,” said Even Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, a nonprofit geared toward keeping the internet free.