Donald Trump signs bill that lets internet companies sell people's browsing history

How to Keep Your Info Private from Your ISP in 2017

President Trump signed a bill into law Monday tossing out the FCC's controversial broadband privacy rules, which would have required ISPs to obtain customers' consent in order to use and share their personal information.

While the chatter in Washington D.C. last week focused on the failed GOP health care plan to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, a much quieter - but equally egregious - repeal-and-replace bill moved through the U.S. Senate along party lines. "We had the same protections in place the day before the Congressional resolution was passed, and we will have the same protections the day after President Trump signs the CRA into law", he said. "We did not do it before the FCC's rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so", Comcast's chief privacy officer Gerard Lewis saidin a Friday statement. And consumer advocates worry that the companies will be an enticing target for hackers.

"In adopting these rules the Commission implements the statutory requirement that telecommunications carriers protect the confidentiality of customer proprietary information". With the president's signature, the FCC's landmark rules to protect consumer privacy are wholly repealed and the FCC is barred from passing any "substantially similar" new rules.

Cable and wireless companies (and their respective lobbyists) opposed these rules, claiming it was unfair for the FCC to provide one set of regulations for broadband providers and another for online content companies (like Google, Amazon, and Netflix). Three major ISPs - Verizon, AT&T and Comcast - have spoken out to indicate that they have no intention of selling customer information.

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Internet companies like Google don't have to ask their Internet users for permission before tracking what sites they visit.

While the rule did give broadband providers access to a user's email address and other private information, like geolocation or financial information, users were also specifically given the chance to opt out of sharing their info.

The White House has signaled it supports axing the Obama-era rules.

Some of the Congress is also of the opinion that the ISP's will sell personal data to the highest bidder. Almost a dozen CRA resolutions have gone to the President for signing in just the last few weeks. "Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were created to benefit one group of favoured companies, not online consumers".

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But social media and internet search websites don't have access to almost as much data as internet service providers.

Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, said the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC, should regulate Internet providers' data-mining practices.

Surprisingly, Trump said that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to global relations back on January 1st, 2017.

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