April 4, 2017 Update
“President Trump on Monday signed a congressional resolution to complete the overturning of internet privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration. The change will allow broadband internet service suppliers, such as cable and telecommunications companies, to track and sell a customer’s online information with greater ease.”
Read more here.
March 30, 2017 Update
If this topic, which I’ve discussed previously here, interests you, I would encourage you to look at my response to a comment I received on that previous post today. You can read it by following that link I just provided and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
In essence, I was asked why the FCC did not apply the same rules to Google, Amazon, Facebook and other known trackers. Why shouldn’t Congress level the playing field by overturning privacy rules that would only apply to ISPs?
The answer is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. But in simple terms I would turn the question around. Why did Congress trash something that was good but imperfect instead of taking the FCC privacy rules and expanding them to other like Google?
The Europeans do a much better job of protecting the privacy rights of their citizens than our government does? Why is it?
Again, the answer is complicated, but one thing that comes into play is money. ISPs like Verizon have tons of money and they spend it freely supporting their friends in Congress; people like Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) who led the charge to repeal the FCC privacy rules in the House of Representatives.
But here’s a telling graphic about the Congresswoman. You can read more about her here.
Want to know how your Congress critters voted on this matter? You can see how your Senators voted here and how your Representatives voted here. And you can find out how much money the members who voted to trash your privacy got from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle here.
Republicans mostly voted for trashing the privacy rules while Democrats voted against.
Next up for Trump and the Republicans? Jettisoning net neutrality rules, which were intended to safeguard free expression online.
Originally Posted on March 29, 2017
When you make a voice call on your smartphone, the information is protected: Your phone company can’t sell the fact that you are calling car dealerships to others who want to sell you a car. But if the same device and the same network are used to contact car dealers through the internet, that information — the same information, in fact — can be captured and sold by the network. To add insult to injury, you pay the network a monthly fee for the privilege of having your information sold to the highest bidder.
Read more here.
We’ve known for a long time that we have little privacy online; that there are powerful forces determined to make a profit off of your private information. Up until now, however, their right to do so was being contested.
But now things have changed. Now those forces control all three branches of the U.S. government and are determined to take advantage of that by having the government back their plans unequivocally.
Is there anything you can do to protect yourself online?
It was the Republican Party.