The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it will not seek to impose a requirement on Google, Facebook and other Internet companies that would make it harder for them to track consumers’ online activities.
The announcement is a blow to privacy advocates who had petitioned the agency for stronger Internet privacy rules. But it’s a win for many Silicon Valley companies whose business models rely on monetizing Internet users’ personal data.
It’s also the latest move in an ongoing battle to defend the agency’s new net neutrality rules, which opponents warned would result in the regulation of popular Web sites and online services. By rejecting the petition, the FCC likely hopes to defuse that argument. The rules, which took effect this summer, allow the FCC to regulate only providers of Internet access, not individual Web sites, said a senior agency official.