What the death of broadband privacy rules means

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The resolution overrides a rule that had been proposed by President Barack Obama that would have required providers to get your permission to share browsing habits and other personal information. On Tuesday, the House passed the Senate resolution, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign. "CFA says the vote in Congress repeals broadband privacy rules, allowing internet service providers to spy on their customers and sell their data without consent and is a" bad setback for the American public".

Unsurprisingly, numerous lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill have received campaign donations from companies or employees of companies that stand to benefit from it ― corporations such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. The Republicans voted to allow internet service providers to sell your most intimate, most intimate personal information without your knowledge or your consent.

The telecommunications and cable companies that operate the nation's biggest internet service providers - ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Charter, etc. - are free to collect your internet browsing history and sell it to commercial clients.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai praised the decision of Congress to overturn "privacy regulations created to benefit one group of favoured companies over another group of disfavoured companies".

Speaking to a cyber-security expert, the publication reports that selling the user data that ISPs mine would be tricky since these companies usually have their own privacy policies that could prevent them from doing so.

Swire said, "In a lot of neighborhoods there's only one ISP - Internet Service Provider - and so when there's no choice, there's no way for the consumer to vote with his or her feet".

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The federal regulatory body's newly appointed chairman Ajit Pai, an Indian American, welcomed the vote and promised to work with another federal regulatory body to protect consumers' online privacy.

"The difference is, you can choose not to use Google", said Michael Johnson, with the Technology Leadership Institute at the U of M.

That would include your browser history, data from your apps, and geo-location. ISPs have protested that the FCC regulation would have put them at a disadvantage compared to Google and Facebook, as both follow the less-stringent privacy rules of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Web surfers willing to pony up a few extra bucks for privacy can also purchase a VPN, or virtual private network, which encrypts traffic so browsing history can't be traced.

Public interest groups have pledged to fight any effort to repeal the current rules, whether from the FCC or in Congress. Groups like Fight for the Future have vowed to place billboards in districts of congressional representatives who voted to scuttle the privacy rules, and on Wednesday Stephen Colbert talked about the legislation on his late-night show.

Republicans repeatedly discounted the privacy benefits generated by the rule.