31LAWMAKERS VOTED TO END INTERNET PRIVACY PROTECTIONS
Recently, the congress of lawmakers voted to abolish the Internet privacy protection rules that were set by the Federal Communication commission under the Obama administration. The law was to protect the privacy of consumers from the Internet Service Providers who collect customer’s data and information and sell to the highest bidders, for example, the big business advertising companies.
The motion has already been passed through the senate and it’s on President Trump’s desk and they are looking forward to him signing the proposal. The privacy rules which had not yet been brought into effect would have constrained the Internet Service providers to acquire approval from consumers before accessing their personal information and sharing their data. This is because of the fact that by using the various search engines, the customers opt to the massive surveillance and data mining by the Service Providers through browsing history and app usage. Also, the service providers would have been obliged to inform consumers on which kind of data and information to be shared.
So, the Internet Privacy rules were envisioned to give customers extra authority over their intimate data online at a time when technology is going to rule from smartphones to home appliances. However, supporters of the repeal argued that it would have placed unjustified inconveniences on broadband internet providers like Verizon and Comcast who have access to even a greater amount of data, as opposed to the so-called edge providers like Facebook and Google which doesn’t ask permission from consumers since they are controlled by the Federal Trade Commission and therefore doesn’t face strict requirements yet they make a lot of money. Broadband companies also said that the rules are needless since they already offer comprehensive privacy rules and strategies to secure their business from online cyber criminals.
Industrial groups also supported these companies by saying that the already existing privacy rules from federal agencies are enough to protect customers and that the proposed rules will only suppress innovation.
If Trump approves the recent legislative motion by signing it, it would allow the Internet Service Providers to efficiently retrieve an extensive collection of consumer’s information and data from their browsing history without their consent. With these data, they can sell them to data brokers or to advertisement companies for a lucrative sum.
Internet Service Providers like Comcast will freely sell a customer’s private data to the highest bidder and there will be no protection on that from the customer’s side. This is one of the strategies the providers will use to make money from customer’s information. In addition to that, Internet providers will sell you an access to the internet content which they have acquired from big entertainment companies and advertisements that target the consumer based on data they have collected by spying on customer’s activities on the internet. They will also be able to use a customer’s location history which they buy from other search engines or other Internet Service Providers who have everything they want to target their ads to.
It will also loose the Internet Service Providers from duties to increase consumer’s information security against hackers. Although the Federal communication commission can still take action against agencies that supposedly breach customer’s privacy, it won’t be able to set rules that prevent privacy infringements hence internet providers will be exposed to less oversight due to the new bill.
However, there are few democrats and privacy advocates fighting back after the lawmakers voted to overturn the Internet Privacy Policies by arguing that it entirely infringes the privacy protection for customers on the Internet. One of the democratic representatives Anna Eshoo said, “I don’t want anyone to take my information and sell it to someone and make a ton of money off of it just because they can get their mitts on it.” However, the Internet Providers allow consumers to switch from one search engine to the other but this can be quite a challenge especially when the choices are limited.
Finally, now that bill has not been signed by the president, consumers can still channel their complaints to the president through tweets. Also, one can opt for a private internet access through VPN which protects one’s online privacy and it has received an appreciable customer’s interest since the senate vote.People need to care and protect their own privacy and by being careful with how they handle they browsing activities and they can be limited if need be.
Do you agree with the senate on the ending of the internet privacy protection laws?
What are the possible implications of the new changes?
Now that the law has ended, what next?