Politicians' web browsing history targeted after privacy vote

On Thursday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted a bill [PDF] that would enshrine the FCC privacy rules proposed during the Obama administration into law - the rules just shot down by the Trump administration.

AT&T (T, Tech30) and Verizon (VZ, Tech30) have bet billions buying up content companies, which can potentially be paired with subscriber data to build up advertising businesses.

The Federal Communications Commission rule, scheduled to take effect later this year, was created to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Charter, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. Congress now has two options: to pass my bill and reverse S.J. Res 34 and allow the FCC to implement privacy protections, or to pass new legislation to regulate the industry by statute. "Once they realize there is more money to be made and a market to targeting a specific individual, your web habits will become increasingly attached to you". Yet one of their leading trade associations, USTelecom, said in a statement to Recode that the FCC and its sister agency in Washington, the Federal Trade Commission, already are competent cops of the beat. Former FCC Chairman Wheeler wasn't shouting then that consumers' privacy was at risk because we had no rules. "This results in rules that apply very different regulations based on the identity of the online actor". "We continue to support the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) privacy framework and look forward to working on a more uniform air-tight approach to privacy that doesn't advance a Balkanized regulatory structure". To make matters worse, the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai has recently halted the enforcement of another ISP regulation.

Because of this, the rule arbitrarily treated ISPs differently from the rest of the internet. In addition, the Republican rollback overturns Obama-era net neutrality measures prohibiting internet providers from charging websites and applications extra fees for faster download speeds.

Whether this argument is likely to help persuade the Ninth Circuit to grant the FTC's request for an en banc rehearing is unclear.

Pai in December predicted that net neutrality's days were numbered. Congress should have guaranteed "simple, basic privacy protections that would allow people to opt in to what's being used, and of course, opt-in for things affecting their children". Personal data privacy should be our top concern.

But, "The governor agrees with the principles behind these bills as he believes that something needs to be done in light of the recent federal actions around internet privacy", Lee wrote in an email.

Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was one of many consumer advocacy groups opposed to the repeal. "Yet, many consumers have limited choice for broadband service and can not necessarily change ISPs if their privacy and security protections are not transparent or strong". President Donald Trump signed the resolution Monday, striking from the books rules that would have compelled ISPs to get permission from subscribers before collecting data including browser history and app use. The White House estimates that the repeal of the rules rescinded to date will save $10 billion over 20 years.


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