In a 215-205 vote on Senate Joint Resolution 34 (H. Res. 230), the US House of Representatives has approved the legislation that would allow internet service providers to sell information about their customers’ browsing history to advertisers and third parties. The vote repeals Obama-era’s FCC rules – which protected consumers and required ISPs to seek consent from their customers in order to take share their private data.
The Congressional Review Act, 1996, offers an expedited procedure for the Congress to overturn the regulations by agencies like FCC. Republicans in Congress have jumped on this act as a way to roll back parts of Obama’s broadband privacy regulation.
And, as the legislation has already been passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, it is headed to the President for his approval. If President Trump signs the proposed legislation, your ISP can nearly sell everything you do online – your browsing history, health and financial data, Social Security Number, app usage, and all.
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Originally, ISPs used to make money by charging their customers for internet access. But lately, they’ve been opting additional methods – using unique access to customers’ online activities – to generate more revenue. Not to mention, AT&T has led the way here by charging fiber Internet customers extra unless they chose a system that scanned Internet traffic to deliver personalized ads.
This takes us to the point that your ISP will sell you out in a heartbeat. Under the regulation rollback, they will be allowed to interact with sensitive user data by creating marketing profiles based on browsing history and deploying undetectable tools to track web traffic.
Now, only a signature from the President stands in the way of the repeal. If by any chance, it gets approved, we’re all in for a rough ride. Read the official Joint resolution here.