How Consumers Can Protect Their Privacy In The Wake Of The FCC Privacy Rules Rollback
The decision by Congress to vote to reverse privacy rules established by the Federal Communications Commission sends a clear message: You don’t have any privacy. It has been taken away.
Fact: Everything you post to Facebook is public. Same goes for all the social media channels you engage with. We all know this, but here’s where internet service providers come in.
Why is this bad news?
Your IP address, which is just like your physical home address, is always exposed when surfing the net. Most people don’t think twice about this.
Here’s just some of the information ISPs could potentially know about you based on your internet habits:
- Your gender
- Which websites you visit (and how long you stay)
- Where you live, and who you live with
And the list goes on.
All of these data points represent financial incentives for ISPs. This is a marketer’s dream come true, but it's a nightmare for people who care about their privacy and security online.
Neither Congress nor the president bears the entire burden of this decision. It passed because of lobbying by the ISPs, which are concerned that content providers such as Facebook and Google stand to reap enormous financial benefits at their expense.
In other words, ISPs want to be the ones to cash in.
Under law, ISPs must act like a utility -- a practice known as net neutrality. They are required to routinely upgrade their infrastructure to provide the bandwidth for massive amounts of data generated on these platforms.