Written By Jacob Fitch
UPDATE: There Has Been An Announcement By FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Announcing A Net Neutrality Repeal. Please Fight Against This Repeal, For The Consumer.
On March 23, the US Senate voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that required ISP’s like Comcast, Centurylink, Etc. to get consumer’s explicit consent before selling or sharing their own personal web browsing data and lot’s of other private info.
This opens the floodgates for providers to sell your browser history, and the amount of time you are on websites. The rules repealed were approved in October 2016, and would have taken effect as early as December 4, 2017. Along with the repeal came a statement saying the FCC may “have no force or effect” and to prevent the FCC from making similar rules in the future.
When the vote came to the senate, the vote was 50 – 48, and a lot of the in favor voters argued that consumers would become confused on whether or not their information is protected. Sen. Ed Markley said “President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result [from] the Republican roll-back of broadband privacy protections,” Sen. John Cornyn said the privacy rule “hurt job creators and stifle economic growth.”
Obviously Democrats and Consumer advocates are furious over the passing of the bill, and even more about the fact that President Trump neglected to veto the bill. This bill pass would allow internet providers like Comcast, Century-Link, Charter, AT&T, and Charter to sell your private browsing data and infect your computer with a non-detectable cookie that track all this. Internet providers will be able to with this information have the ability to advertise things to you based solely on your browsing habits, and history. Advocacy groups including Free Press, Demand Progress, and the ACLU went to Congress to deliver almost 90,000 petitions towards this ruling.
The rules would have required ISP’s to have opt-in agreements to sell their consumers data, and opt-in agreements for smaller things like email addresses, and service-tier information. The FCC’s rules required providers to take “reasonable” steps to protect their consumers data.