Stop Internet Service Providers from Selling Your Private Online Data
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On April 3rd, 2017 President Donald Trump signed legislation allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to save and sell your private online search data. The legislation was authored by Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ.
This means ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon will have access to anything you have searched for, even in private browsing mode, and can sell that information to the highest bidder.
The ISP lobbyists and their cronies in Congress successfully argued that it was unfair to restrict service providers from spying on your browsing habits because online companies like Facebook can already legally use browsing data to advertise to you.
But companies like Facebook are opt-in and can be blocked from accessing your data by using private browsing modes or connecting via a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Your ISP can see what you've looked at online no matter what security measures you take.
ISPs also typically have monopoly power over entire areas of the country, all while collecting federal subsidies to expand their broadband capacity. This means consumers have no choice but to be automatically "opted-in" to being actively monitored online by their monopoly-holding ISPs if they want to connect to the internet.
It's time to stand up for basic consumer rights and stop the for-profit collusion of our elected officials and greedy, privacy-invading internet service providers. We're calling on the representatives of California, Oregon, and Washington to take the lead by introducing legislation to restore FCC privacy rules.
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