Republicans on Capitol Hill have signed a bill that allows your internet service provider (ISP) to sell your browsing history to third parties.
Internet privacy protections advocates received the bad news on Tuesday, a move they summarized as rolling back the internet.
House of Representatives voted Tuesday to allow internet service providers to sell information about consumers’ browsing history without their knowledge or consent.
The new GOP bill will repeal and replace the FCC broadband privacy rules passed during the final months of the Obama administration. Obama demanded that providers also notify customers when they experienced a data breach, a rule that was revoked this week by the Senate.
The House voted 215 to 2015 to remove the broadband privacy rules.
Almost no Democrats voted for the bill with a majority of Republicans moving forward with the plan. In the Senate, the same legislation passed 50 to 48, again along party lines. Rand Paul missed the vote, but was a co-sponsor of the legislation.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law in the near future.
The Washington Post reports that service providers, including online giants such Verizon and Comcast (MSNBC’s parent company), “will be able to monitor their customers’ behavior online and, without their permission, use their personal and financial information to sell highly targeted ads – making them rivals to Google and Facebook in the $83 billion online advertising market. The providers could also sell their users’ information directly to marketers, financial firms and other companies that mine personal data – all of whom could use the data without consumers’ consent.”
Privacy experts have noted that keeping track of and selling consumers’ data exposes their information to a massive potential for security threats. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says such collection of data will make ISP’s “appealing target for hackers.”
Why the sudden decision to repeal one of Obama’s final decisions at President? Some experts believe the GOP is attempting to target any of Obama’s plans before they have time to settle in and resonate with the American public.
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