Rewind back to March 2017: Congress voted to overturn a yet-to-take-effect Obama-era FCC regulation requiring ISPs to get permission from customers before collecting their data and selling it to advertisers. It was a victory for corporate giants like Comcast and Verizon, who nevertheless assured everyone that they had no intention of selling their customers’ internet histories.
In the wake of that repeal, about half of the country’s states chose not to take the ISPs at their word, and began crafting their own legislation to restore the FCC’s rules within their borders. Washington, DC is the latest example, and the National Conference of State Legislatures shows close to 70 similar bills on state dockets this year. So far, not a single one has passed.