On March 29th 2017, The U.S Senate and House of Representatives both voted to revoke regulations that would have made it mandatory for Internet Service Providers or ISP’s to get the consumer’s consent..
What will be the impact of the new online privacy bill?
On March 29th 2017, The U.S Senate and House of Representatives both voted to revoke regulations that would have made it mandatory for Internet Service Providers or ISP’s to get the consumer’s consent before disclosing the individuals data to third parties such as social media houses, advertisers and aggregators.
Web browsing and app usage on the Presidents signage of the bill will be allowed to be ‘sold’ to anyone the service provider deems acceptable.
The U.S. House and the Senate are both dominated by Republicans and this act rescinds some of the final actions of the Obama administration.
What did the Republicans revoke?
- The Obama administration in one of its final acts before handing the reigns over to Donald Trump, sought to protect the information stored by ISP’s. The law was issued October 27th, 2016.
- The legislation pushes for multiple protective mechanism’s allowing information to be shared only on the consent of the user. The first protection protocol was Opt-in’s in which sensitive information from consumers must only be shared if they ‘obtain and affirmative opt-in’ meaning their complete acquiesce to share information such as browsing history, economic status, tracking systems etc.
- The second was the opt out in which the ISP’s could gather the information and use it unless and only unless the consumer ‘opts out’. For example; Email addresses and such would be shares unless the user ‘opts out’.
- In addition to this tallies as to what is being consumed by the user will only be in relation to the billing at hand and anything beyond this must be made transparent. Transparency requirements hold ISP’s to outlining a clear idea as to what the ISP’s are collecting and where the information will be used, stored, sent etc. Security is also mentioned as ISP’s must look after the information with care setting the adequate defense systems in case of breaches.
How does this effect Americans?
- As it currently stands the implementation of the law will only happen after Donald Trump’s signature and then only be enforced come December 2017.
- But from then onward Internet providers in the USA can ‘sell’ classified information of the users to larger companies. Browsing information, financial statuses, account details, page hits can all be sold to the appropriate firms who can exploit them. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint amongst others can add to their piles of wealth by now selling their consumers data to the highest bidder. This is a breach of the rules of the internet for capital gain.
- For example when before Facebook and other social media platforms had targeted ads depending on your views on the site, now they can target and predict interests due to them being able to access your browsing history itself.
Consumers must now look to take privacy and information collection into their own hands to protect from the will of the servers. The server and internet providers can now shop of certain consumers secrets and patterns of internet behavior which highlights a worrying time in an age where the internet regulators are cracking down. Hackers will certainly stand to gain from the said revoking as now internet providers will need to stockpile information for the process of sale, which could lead to backdoors being left open as seen with ComCast in the past. You can still opt out of having your data sold if you live in America but consumers must now before of agreement clauses and look for the fine print to not allow their date to be sold.