Business

Mass. GOP senators file Internet privacy bill

Shutterstock / Micolas

A group of Massachusetts Republican lawmakers is breaking with the national GOP in a dispute over Internet privacy.

Six Republican state senators have filed legislation that would bar Internet service providers in Massachusetts from using or selling their customers’ Internet browsing histories and other sensitive personal data without getting the customers’ explicit permission. Earlier this week, President Trump signed legislation passed by the GOP-controlled Congress that overturned similar federal regulations.

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“The federal government has created a situation that threatens consumer privacy, and it needs to be addressed,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester, one of the sponsors of the legislation.

The bill would also ban Internet service providers such as Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. from charging extra for Internet service to customers who refuse to share their personal data.

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The bill has also attracted Democratic co-sponsors, including state Senators Jennifer Flanagan, Jason Lewis, and Mark Montigny.

Massachusetts isn’t the only state where similar privacy laws are under consideration. GOP and Democratic lawmakers in Washington state and Kansas have filed similar bills.

Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.
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