With respect to Internet privacy, as a result of recent U.S. government action, Americans now have less protection and are more at risk of government surveillance and potential misuse of their personal information, as compared with citizens of the European Union (EU).
By overturning the FCC’s privacy regulations and stripping the FCC’s authority to implement similar privacy regulations in the future, the U.S. government has created an enormous Internet privacy regulatory void. As a result of such action, there now appear to be no federal regulatory limitations on the types of personal information Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can collect, use and disclose regarding the Internet activities of their subscribers, nor any obligations imposed on ISPs with respect to data retention, data protection or breach notification.
This regulatory void in the U.S. contrasts sharply with EU law, which generally prohibits ISPs from using or disclosing any personal information without the opt-in consent of their subscribers. Under the EU’s new General