U.S. House Votes to Let ISPs Sell Your Browser History
With a slim majority of 215 to 205, the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a resolution rolling back FCC privacy regulations. Approved last year, the rules required that ISPs get your explicit permission before selling "sensitive data" like your browsing history. The resolution already passed the Senate last week, and now will go before the president, who has said he plans to sign it.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation responded to today's vote with a statement that "If the bill is signed into law, companies like Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon will have free rein to hijack your searches, sell your data and hammer you with unwanted advertisements. Worst yet, consumers will now have to pay a privacy tax by relying on VPNs to safeguard their information."
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is in support of rolling back the rules, claiming that "the FCC will work with the FTC to ensure that consumers' online privacy is protected through a consistent and comprehensive framework." Once this is signed by the president, it will be up to them just how creepy internet service providers can get.
On the industry side, service providers also make that argument, claiming the privacy rules would've overreached and singled out internet service providers while allowing others like Google and Facebook to sell information. That doesn't, however, take into account how much data our ISP has access to, with the ability to know where you are, who you communicate with and what you say online potentially all up for sale. Also, many customers don't have more than one or two choices for broadband, reducing the possibility for privacy-friendly competition.