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Here’s What Congress Just Allowed ISPs to Sell Without Your Consent

Financial and Medical information, Social Security numbers, Web browsing history, and your Children’s information are among the types of private consumer information that Congress voted on Tuesday to allow your internet service provider (ISP) to sell to the highest bidder without your permission, prompting outrage from privacy watchdogs.  Trump signed the bill into law on April 3rd.

The House action, which was approved 215-205 by Republicans along party lines, represents another defeat of landmark Federal Communications Commission rules that were passed in 2016. The rules, which were set to go into effect later this year, would have required broadband providers to obtain “opt-in” consent before using, sharing, or selling private consumer data.   Now, ISP’s can collect your data and sell it at will.  The type of personal information they can now collect and sell without your permission include:

  • Precise Geo-location of where you are located
  • Your Financial information
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your Health and Medical information
  • Information regarding your children
  • Your Web browsing history
  • Your App usage history
  • The content of your communications

It is unclear how ISP’s will sell the consumer information, but by combining your physical location with your recent browsing history and cell phone number, it’s now not beyond their ability to begin texting you advertisements for product near your location.  The previous rule adopted under Obama required that consumers opt-in to allow the collection of such data.  Now under Trump, all consumer data is free game and consumers no longer have a choice if their data is collected, or to whom it is sold or how it is used.



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