The US Senate has voted to allow our internet providers to sell consumers’ personal information to advertisers, without our consent.
Senator Bill Nelson said this is a gold mine of data, the Holy Grail so to speak. If this rule is eliminated, our privacy rights will be taken away from us.
If approved, internet providers will be able to share our web browsing data history, financial, health and communication information without our approval; including our location information.
Online Security Expert Alan Crowetz told WPTV Ch5 news that he can see which bank people use, the time they are on their bank etc.
Alan said that even if the bill doesn’t pass, firms like Google and Facebook are already selling data. He said that while limited, there are certain things we can do to protect our online data. He recommends when surfing the web, we should only use private browsing option and disable cookies in our browsers.
Internet Providers want to user our data to promote it to advertising companies, he said.
Companies such as Facebook and Google are held to different standards: they are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. Whereas it is the Federal Communications Commission who regulate Internet Providers.
Alan says. One allows them to do some things while another division does not allow them to do those things, so we have a discrepancy. Theoretically the idea is to have them compete on a level playing field but they are competing for our data.
Alan added that there are sites which can help you to find out what browsing data providers are able to harvest from you: whatsmyip.org