Senate GOP Votes to Gut Obama-Era Internet Privacy Rules

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. 

The Republican-led Senate has voted to undo Obama-era regulations that would have forced internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to ask customers' permission before they could use or sell much of their personal information.

Senators approved a measure Thursday along party lines, 50-48, to eliminate the rules.

The Federal Communications Commission, then controlled by Democrats, put the regulations in place in October. They're not in effect yet.

Industry groups and Republicans have protested the regulations. They said broadband providers would have to operate under tougher privacy requirements than digital-advertising behemoths like Google and Facebook.

But Democrats and consumer advocates say it will be easier for phone and cable companies to use and sell customer data.

The House and President Donald Trump must still approve rolling back the privacy rules.