Bill to Protect Internet Privacy Revoked

Law permits internet service providers to sell your private information to others.

Law permits internet service providers to sell your private information to others.

During the Obama Administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved regulations that provided online privacy protections to those who use the internet. President Trump has signed a bill into law that cancels those regulations and could eventually allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell information about their customers’ sensitive private data.

The law revokes regulations that would have required ISPs to obtain customer permission before collecting and sharing customer data   such as web browsing history, app usage, geo-location data, and social security numbers; to notify customers about the type of information collected and shared; and to strengthen safeguards for customer data against hackers and thieves.

Under the new law, ISPs can monitor their users’ online activities and, without the users’ permission, sell highly targeted ads, and also sell the information to third parties such as marketers, financial firms, and other companies that gather personal data.

ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon opposed the FCC regulations as unfair and harsh because tech companies such as Facebook and Google would not have been subject to the regulations, leaving them free to collect user information without permission.

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