GOP Votes To Sell Your Personal Information
In an unprecedented corporate maneuver on Tuesday, GOP lawmakers repealed the standing privacy regulations prohibiting Internet Service Providers (ISP's) from sharing consumers browsing history, social security numbers, frequently visited sites, etc.
The measure was passed 50-48 in the Senate in a party-line vote last week, followed by a similar vote in the House on the 28th (Tuesday) in a 215-205 passing vote. The measure is intended to boost internet marketing capacity by observing your browsing habits, and responding by targeting your computer (using your IP address) with advertisements that suite your browsing preferences. Information sold would include frequently visited sites, time spent on particular ones, browsing history at large, social security numbers, mobile & app usage, etc.. The previous rules did not forbid the usage/gathering of said information, but did however require ISP's to request your permission before collecting personal or sensitive information. Jeffrey Chester, the executive director for the "Center For Digital Democracy" stated as follows: “Today’s vote means that Americans will never be safe online from having their most personal details stealthily scrutinized and sold to the highest bidder." One issue which is being seemingly ignored by mainstream news outlets covering this is that abolishing Net Neutrality not only allows the wholesale sharing of private information, but allows ISP's to favor some websites over others, which are likely, in this unbridling of capitalism, to be sites that pay an extra dollar for faster loading time, taking loading time away from smaller, independent websites. Finally, and not the least of our worries in this regard is that, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, for an organization to sell information, they must first collect information. This makes ISP collection points ideal targets for hackers; We are therefore certain to see a major uptick in identity theft from more hackers going forward.