US Senate votes to let ISPs sell your Web Browsing History to Advertisers
The Internet Service Providers can now send your personal data curtly to the advertisers without your permission and you literally can’t do anything about it. So, killing the Obama-era privacy regulations, the US Senate has voted to let the ISPs sell your browsing data to the advertising companies. However, there are certain limits put on the type of data ISPs can share. As per the new privacy policies of FCC, the ISPs cannot share or sell the sensitive information of users which include the mobile location data and app usage history.
Last year in October, the FCC set a rule where the ISPs were not allowed to sell the browsing data to advertising companies without the user’s consent. But, Ajit Pai, the newly appointed FCC chairman has put a temporary hold on these policies.
As per Mr. Pai, companies the old set of privacy rules, formed in Obama-era were favoring the companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Mr. Pai also claims that these companies are collecting the browsing data largely and selling it to the advertising companies, thereby dominating the digital advertising industry. Whereas the ISPs are not allowed to do so.
Backing his argument The Federal Communication Commission released a statement saying, “All actors in the online space should be subject to the same rules, and the federal government shouldn’t favor one set of companies over another”. FCC further added, “Therefore, he has advocated returning to a technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world and harmonizing the FCC’s privacy rules for broadband providers with the FTC’s standards for others in the digital economy.”
However, the new rules are not yet signed by current President Trump. Once done, the ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon etc. will be legally allowed to collect and sell all your browsing data to the advertising companies and third-party marketers without taking your consent.
While industry groups hailed the vote from the US Senate, the privacy advocates are not supporting it. It will be interesting to see how President Trump sees the new privacy policies set by Mr. Ajit Pai.
Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.