Major internet providers say will not sell customer browsing histories

Comcast says it will not sell customer browsing histories

President Trump officially repealed broadband Internet privacy rules that were adopted by the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) under the former Obama administration, the White House confirmed.

The FCC rule was introduced back in October last year and was slated to come into effect later this year.

New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said he thinks the FTC should build a framework for privacy rules, while the ISPs and their lobbyists argued the FCC restrictions put them at a disadvantage against companies like Google or Facebook and were confusing for customers. Within this regulation, the ISP's will need consumer content before they use a certain geolocation, health information, financial information, children's information and web browsing history for marketing and advertisement purposes.

Several of the most popular internet service providers are stepping over themselves to tell customers that, no, they aren't going to sell your browsing history.




As TechDirt's Mike Masnick explains, the rollback of the FCC rules doesn't mean you can actually buy an individual's Web-browsing history. "He also added that those flawed privacy rules adopted in last October, which never went into effect, were created to benefit one group of favoured companies, not online consumers", reported CNBC.

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 Trump signed the bill.

For end users, the repeal of the law effectively maintains the status quo because it was not enacted before being shuttered, but it's worth noting that the resolution contains language preventing the FCC from enabling similar privacy rules in the future. "Period." Verizon similarly says it doesn't plan to sell browsing histories; it does have two programs using the data, one with "de-identified" info for marketers and the other for aggregate insights for advertisers. According to tech experts, self-regulation may not protect consumer privacy at all. They said privacy should be more important than profits, and "most Americans believe that their sensitive internet information should be closely guarded". "The Congressional action had zero effect on the privacy protections afforded to consumers", the statement added.

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