The U.S. Senate has recently voted to get rid of privacy rules that would make Internet Service Providers get a customer’s consent before selling any sort of web browsing history and app usage to advertisers.
However, the rules developed by the FCC aren’t a requirement until December 2017, which means that if and when the FCC rules are eliminated, then ISPs will still continue to sell data without any consent.
If the privacy rules are gotten rid of, then ISPs will have protection if they go overboard when selling browsing history for a profitable gain.
The Senate vote totaled 50-48, where all Republicans voted for the removal of the privacy rules while all the Democrats voted to keep them.
While selling user history might seem like an invasion of privacy for some people, ISP lobby groups say that data shouldn’t be ‘classified as sensitive information.’ The groups also argued that they need to provide Internet users proper advertising with ‘data-driven services,’ but that privacy rules would prevent that from happening.
There are some ways that customers can protect their browsing history and data from ISPs. The way to do this is through using VPN services, Tor and HTTPS to ‘encrypt’ usage.
“Those are the three ways you can encrypt [your browsing] so that the ISP can’t see it,” said Jeremy Gillula, senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The final decision will be based on the House’s vote which will take place this week.
See the full story on Arstechnica.com