With the political news concerning health care and “collaboration” with Russia, you may have missed this story. The Senate, voting along party lines, has decided that is OK for you ISP (Internet Service Provider) to sell your data. That means your browsing history is not as private as you thought or hoped. Since you likely know who holds the majority in the Senate, you know who voted to sell you out.
I cannot imagine as a consumer who would think this was OK. Even if you did not care who knew what you viewed online, why would you want to allow the ISP to sell this information. You already pay the ISP for online access. At best, I would think it appropriate that “sell my data” would be an opt in that would compensate you against your monthly bill. Since, your browsing preferences would be a great way to feed you ads, I would think $5-10 a month would be appropriate.
Here is the thing that irks me about Republicans. Why is it that business interests are given priority over the interests of individuals? Yes, I do know the answer to my own question.
As to why senators would want to overturn privacy rules, Vocativ (via TNW) reported earlier this week that the 22 Republican senators behind the resolution had received more than $1.7 million in campaign contributions from the telecoms industry in recent years.
There is still time to contact your representative, but I suppose most of them are on the payroll too.
The question of online privacy has been prominent recently. For example, I have written on several occasions about the rights of creators to allow ads on their content and against those who feel it a right to block such ads. Yes, ads and cookies are a way to annoy users and collect information, BUT when you get content for free the ads provide a form of compensation for the free content received. If you don’t like the ads, don’t visit the content generated by creators. This is not an issue with ISPs – you have no choice. You use the service and they have your data.
There are related issues that may be involved and to my knowledge have been overlooked. If you work in education, you may be familiar with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). This law makes it illegal collect without parental approval the online data generated by the activities of children under the age of 13. Since I see no opt in or opt out provisions for the Senate pronouncement, I am unclear on how COPPA requirements would be met.