Article 43

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Internet Privacy Bites The Dust

Advertisers look forward to buying your Web browsing history from ISPs

Ad groups thank Republican lawmakers for move to kill ISP privacy rules.

By Jon Brodkin
ARS Technica
Mar 14, 2017

FCC and lawmakers seek end of privacy rules

The FCC’s new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, opposes the rules and has already halted the implementation of a data security component that required ISPs to take “reasonable” steps to protect customers’ information from theft and data breaches. The more well-known portion of the rules, which requires ISPs to get opt-in consent from consumers before sharing information with third parties, is scheduled to take effect no earlier than December 4, 2017.

The entire set of privacy rules could be undone by either the FCC or Congress. “Without prompt action in Congress or at the FCC, the FCC’s regulations would break with well-accepted and functioning industry practices, chilling innovation and hurting the consumers the regulation was supposed to protect,” the ad industry groups said.

It’s “one of the worst rules that has been put forward in some time,” Association of National Advertisers Executive VP Dan Jaffe said, according to a MediaPost article. “One way or another, it needs to be stopped.” Jaffe said that the ad groups “plan to lobby on the Hill in support of the resolution proposed by Flake and Blackburn,” MediaPost wrote.

Republicans say the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC, should have authority over the privacy practices of ISPs. But overturning the existing privacy rules would not by itself return authority to the FTC, and the FTC could be more lenient with ISPs than the FCC.

If no agency enforces privacy rules, “consumers will have no ability to stop Internet service providers from invading their privacy and selling sensitive information about their health, finances, and children to advertisers, insurers, data brokers or others who can profit off of this personal information, all without their affirmative consent,” Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said last week.

Acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen said last year that the FTC recommends getting opt-in consent for “unexpected collection or use of consumers sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, financial information, and information about children,” and an opt-out system for other data, she wrote. Under that scenario, ISPs apparently would not need opt-in consent from customers before sharing Web browsing history.

SOURCE

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It’s official: your internet provider can share your web history
Trump signs resolution killing FCC privacy rules

By Jacob Kastrenakes
The Verge
April 4, 2017

In a major blow to consumer privacy, President Trump signed a resolution today reversing an Obama-era rule that restricted what internet providers could do with their customers data.

Most notably, the privacy rule would have prevented internet providers from using, sharing, or selling a subscriber’s web browsing history without first getting their explicit permission. The rule also required internet providers to take “reasonable” steps to secure data from hackers and to notify customers in the event of a breach.

But Republicans argued that the rules were confusing to consumers and unfair to internet providers. They said that it didnt make sense for the rules to not also cover web companies like Facebook and Google.

The argument isnҒt particular sound: internet providers deliver data, while Facebook and Google run businesses on the web two distinctly different tasks. But that didnגt stop Republicans from passing a resolution to reverse the privacy order in both the House and Senate.

Speaking to the press last Thursday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said “killing the rules will allow service providers to be treated fairly and consumer protection and privacy concerns to be reviewed on an equal playing field.”

But theres not really a positive takeaway here for consumers. While the nightmare scenario of individually identifiable browser histories getting sold is unlikely to come to pass, spiking these regulations very much gives internet providers more leeway when using your data to target ads.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 03/15/17 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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