For Sale: Your Internet Browsing History

For Sale: Your Internet Browsing History

PSA: our website will now appear in your browsing history – available for sale both now and in the future, thanks to recent legislation. Now, back to your regularly scheduled reading.

 

Last week, the US senate voted to scale back your internet privacy protection, courtesy of a bill formally known as S.J -45. Tuesday, the US House of Representatives agreed with their decision. Now, the bill awaits the President’s signature.

 

Consumer privacy regulations were set to take effect this year that required consumer consent prior to internet service providers sharing (or selling) consumer data. Think internet browsing and location history. Should this legislation pass, and it very likely will, the impact on you will be quite minimal. Why? Well, those privacy regulations never actually took effect.

 

In other words, the “roll back” doesn’t really roll something back; instead it keeps things “as is.”

 

Those celebrating the decision point to internet-based companies such as Facebook and Google, both of whom are allowed to freely share consumer data without consent, thus putting ISPs at a competitive disadvantage for advertising revenues.

 

Concerns over the decision are built largely on consumer privacy concerns. The “when” and “where” of website you visit may soon be available to the highest bidder, whether you like it or not. But, again, this is and has been the case for quite some time.

 

 

Here’s to hoping the conversation continues, with a productive outcome for both consumers and companies alike. Nothing has been formally implemented at this point, nor will it until signed by the President. Having said that, consider this a friendly reminder: as we warned at the beginning, some company may pay to find out that you read this.

 

That’s all for now.

 

Get Back to work.

 

UPDATE: the Minnesota Senate has countered the US Senate’s decision, passing an amendment that requires consumer consent prior to distribution of consumer data

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