NBC Nightly News: New Law – Internet Providers Can Now Sell Your Data Without Consent

President Trump recently signed a law that will change the Internet landscape a bit. The recently signed law allows Internet service providers to now sell or share some data about customers’ Internet browsing.

In the NBC Nightly News video below Tom Costello examines the details of the new law.

President Donald Trump signed the law recently that prevents privacy rules that were passed last year from coming into effect. These rules were put in place to prevent Internet providers from selling customers’ browsing data.

The repeal of these rules has been met with controversy and anger from privacy and rights groups. They fear that Internet providers, like Comcast and Verizon, would gather and sell data about your browsing history to marketers and other companies. This includes information on where customers are, their financial or health status, and what they shop and search for.

Lawmakers and those that were in favor of the measure said that the move was good for business, particularly to help advertisers better target content toward consumers.

AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon say they don’t collect personal information unless customers allow it or share it with third-parties.

Our Take

From a technology perspective, this day and age doesn’t allow for much privacy if you conduct a lot of business on the Internet. Virtually everything that you do online is tracked somewhere. The good news is that, in this case, it’s anonymous data (at least, for now).

The only way to really keep your private info private is to never use a computer or device that is connected to a network in any way. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to do that nowadays. Even if you could, much of your private information is already on a network somewhere in the world.

On another note, even without this new law that allows your information to be sold without your consent, that information will still have to be kept secure somewhere. With that being said, a security breach would bring us right back to this point anyway (our private browsing info being accessed without our consent – and potentially sold).

On top of the above scenario, many times the data mining aspect of Internet browsing essentially wipes out much room for keeping privacy. Most probably aren’t aware, but there is a huge amount of data that can be extrapolated simply by mining the data that is already in-hand.

The bottom line out of all of this is that inevitably, keeping track of the many different variables when it comes to private data is much like herding cats. You can sort of keep track of what’s going on, but it will be incredibly difficult to manage every aspect.


 

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