US Net service providers free to sell user data in rule reversal

The vote marked a victory, however, for telecommunications companies, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, of regulations passed previous year that placed limitations on information on consumer browsing, app usage, location data, and personal account numbers.

President Donald Trump plans to sign a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules as a bigger fight looms over rules governing the openness of the internet, the White House said on Wednesday.

In December, the FCC passed a rule titled "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services".

The repeal of the rule doesn't necessarily mean your browsing history is up for bids.

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 (GOOGL.O) or Facebook Inc (FB.O).




If the rules are enacted, the FCC would be in charge of regulation.

The rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required Internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing your data. "We will not disclose personally-identifying information collected through our website to third parties except as provided in this privacy policy", according to CMG's website.

"The FCC didn't embrace a technology-neutral framework for privacy", Jon Leibowitz, co-chair of the industry group 21st Century Privacy Coalition, told reporters in the wake of the House vote. Thanks to House Republicans, your internet browsing history, personal health and financial information and even location, can be sold to the highest bidder. The Senate had already voted to the block it.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the measure, said companies "should not be able to use and sell the sensitive data they collect from you without your permission". "Our broadband providers know deeply personal information about us and our families".

He said AT&T has privacy protections in place that did not change with the FCC regulations and will not change with the new bill. Plus, some critics have suggested that using a VPN doesn't guarantee a user's privacy: Instead of a service provider tracking and selling your information, the VPN could. The difference in the case of the ISPs, some would argue, is that while people can choose to be on Facebook and opt to use the Google browser, they have to use an ISP simply to get online.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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