Congress recently voted to do away with Obama-era regulations that were intended to protect consumer data from being sold to advertisers without the user’s consent. As of April 4th, President Trump has officially signed the legislation that will dismantle the internet protection that had originally been approved in October 2016.
What Was Voted On?
Congress voted on whether or not to keep a set of Internet privacy rules approved back in October during the end of the Obama administration. The measure, which was passed by a 215-205 vote according to NBC News, blocks the FCC from being able to enforce new privacy rules that had been passed last year by the Obama administration last year before the election. The legislation, which was recently signed by the President, also bans the FCC from issuing any similar online protections in the future.
What Information Can Be Bought?
The original policy would have banned Internet providers from collecting, storing, sharing and selling user information. They would be allowed to collect and sell information such as your web history and app usage, according to The Washington Post. The rules also required Internet providers to use stronger security safeguards to protect customer data against hackers. Now that the policies have been brought down, providers are able to monitor their customer’s online activity and use the data they’ve collected to create highly targeted ads. It also allows them to sell the information to advertisers, financial firms, and other for-profit companies.
How Can I Protect My Data?
As of now, there are no real changes being made to the Internet security policy, so not much is expected to change right away. However, experts suggest a few methods that users can use to keep their data to themselves. First, security experts suggest that you use a virtual private network, or VPN. VPNs will hide your location so they cannot verify your identity, and hides your Internet traffic so that no one will be able to see your browsing history. Security professionals also suggest that users make use of HTTPS sites, which ensure users that their data is secure and will not be shared.
Contact Info Advantage today at (585) 857-2644 to learn more ways you can protect your personal data from being shared or sold.