Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ted Wilson

What the death of broadband privacy rules means

What the death of broadband privacy rules means

US lawmakers voted on Tuesday, March 28, to eliminate Internet privacy protections, giving Internet service providers (ISPs) the green light to sell consumers' web browsing history and app usage data to advertisers. Now, if President Donald Trump signs their bill, itwill be on legislators to craft privacy protections that they find more reasonable. The regulation would prohibit ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast from sharing that data without getting explicit content from consumers via an "opt-in" agreement.

What information is my Internet service provider collecting about me? . How we act and interact online extremely valuable for marketing purposes.

If the bill is signed, the responsibility of policing privacy violations will largely fall back to the Federal Trade Commission.

While it seems like an egregious invasion of privacy, Republicans argued that the previous FCC rules discriminated against internet providers because ISPs are unable to access internet data as Google and Facebook can.

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Speaking to a cyber-security expert, the publication reports that selling the user data that ISPs mine would be tricky since these companies usually have their own privacy policies that could prevent them from doing so.

The ACLU echoed that sentiment in a statement: "President Trump now has the opportunity to ... show he is not just a president for CEOs but for all Americans".

One critic of the repeal, Mr Craig Aaron, president of Free Press advocacy group, said major Silicon Valley firms shied away from the fight over the rules because they profit from consumer data.

Leaders with the American Civil Liberties Union, who also protested the measure, said companies "should not be able to use and sell the sensitive data they collect from you without your permission".

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The privacy bill would repeal regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc's Google or Facebook Inc.

Several thousand voters in Florida's 18th Congressional District will receive robocalls this week from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee questioning Republican freshman Brian Mast's vote to repeal FCC privacy rules. All three sites use personal information for targeted advertising.

That would include your browser history, data from your apps, and geo-location.

Despite their choices in websites, consumers have expressed concern about their privacy.

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