Service Providers Assure Customers Browsing Data Privacy
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that grants internet service providers to sell their customer’s browsing history data. The new law scraps the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that allows customers control the information on the websites they visited from actions from their internet service providers.
The rule from the FCC was introduced October last year is set to be effective later this year but is to be scrapped due to the congressional vote that kills federal web privacy rules that do not require companies to receive permission from their customers before collecting and selling browser or user data which is usually used for products that has been previously searched or viewed for local businesses.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced last week that Trump’s support for the new law is part of a bigger plan to battle Washington red tape that according to the president halts and ceases innovation, job creation and economic growth in the United States.
"The president pledged to reverse this type of federal overreach in which bureaucrats in Washington take the interest of one group of companies over the interest of others," picking the winners and losers, added Spicer.
Privacy advocates then argued that this would not only reveal consumer browsing data but also all the sites being visited by the user, and other private information that would be useful for marketing and advertising agencies while leaving their private information out in the open for others to gain access which would mean that the companies would be highly targeted by hackers.
Meanwhile, republicans like agency chairman Ajit Pai stated that he wants to set back the broadband privacy rules and that a different national agency should be assigned to regulated privacy for both internet and broadband companies like Google and Verizon.
Following the signing of the bill, companies such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T announced that they are not to profit from selling and revealing their customer’s personal information to advertisers even in the light of the recent events.
“We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so,” Comcast’s chief privacy officer Gerard Lewis said in a Friday statement.
Although the rules has not yet been placed into effect, the votes have already received outrage and response from the biggest internet service providers in the country that they have no plans to make use of the new bill.