Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Freak-out boomerangs on internet privacy provocateurs

Last week, Congress voted to halt new digital privacy regulations that the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed and were about to take effect. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had already been policing digital privacy for the past 20 years, so the new rules from a distinct agency would have been duplicative, contradictory, and confusing. The new rules, moreover, would have discriminated against certain internet firms, while favoring others, as opposed to the long-standing rules that govern everyone. The vote, under the Congressional Review Act, and yesterday’s signature by President Donald Trump, was thus the first step in a common-sense consolidation of privacy enforcement back at the FTC.