President Trump just signed off on killing your Internet privacy protections
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 04, 2017,
Apr 04, 2017, 19:35
The ISP response is that it wasn't fair that they couldn't sell you when Google, Facebook, and other services could sell you.
While privacy and consumer groups have criticized the move - claiming it will open the gates for internet providers to gather personal data and sell it for profit - it remains unclear whether or when local users might see the effects. The editorial board of the Washington Post this week called on Congress to pass new broadband privacy laws - though ones that were less sweeping than the rules passed past year by the Federal Communications Commission.
"California is going to supplant Congress, and it's going to be augmented by states like Illinois, Minnesota and even Texas in efforts to protect consumer privacy", said David Vladeck, the former director of the Federal Trade Commission's consumer protection bureau, in an interview with The New York Times.
Following Senate and Congress votes, President Trump has now signed a bill into law to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule.
"As we have pointed out, they have already tried numerous practices - including hijacking your searches - that they are now allowed to do thanks to the party-line vote in Congress".
Meanwhile, several telecom companies have also spoken about the issue and said that regardless of the government's stand on the matter, they would continue to protect user privacy on their own initiative. Well, apparently congressional Republicans and the Trump administration can.
"President Trump has signed away the only rules that guarantee Americans a choice in whether or not their sensitive Internet information is sold or given away", said Chris Lewis, VP of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.
Verizon doesn't sell personal web-browsing histories, either, according to a post on its Web site by chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia. With internet service providers, quitting could mean no internet for you.
"That definitely would not be anything we would try to do", said Robert Dillon, co-owner of In the Stix Broadband, a company that serves mostly rural customers in and around Cambria County. "There is little reason to believe they will not start using personal data they've been legally barred from using and selling to bidders without our consent now". That will only create a patchwork of varying regulations that could have been avoided by leaving the reasonable FCC rules in place.
President Trump is expected to sign this legislation in the upcoming weeks.
"President Trump and Congress have appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the Internet", said FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee.
AT&T and Comcast are two of the major companies who are shielding a Republican push to discard privacy rules made under the administration of Obama.
"Consumers deserve and expect one consistent set of online privacy protections and this action helps clear the way for a more uniform approach across the entire internet ecosystem".