Under the Federal Communications Commission’s old rules, consumers could forbid Internet providers from sharing personal information, such as app and browsing histories, mobile location data and other information generated while using the Internet, but yesterday in a party line vote (aren’t they all party line votes these days) the House of Representatives have struck down that ruling.
So what does this mean? This means if you have Verizon, Comcast, or one of the many other internet providers they can share such information as app usage, your browsing history (Nelson is going to have a lot of Porn Hub pop up ads now), mobile location and more than likely shopping habits with advertisers. The Washington Post also says they can share your Social Security number but no, they can’t there are restrictions on how companies who obtain your SSN and what they can do with them, so at least you’re safe there.
However, though this isn’t the best news it isn’t the doom and gloom the Post is making it out to be. If you use Google, Facebook, Twitter, and various other search engines and social site then this information has already been shared a million times over.
We, like many other sites out there use Google Ad Sense to generate income (very little income mind you) and have you ever noticed those ads seem to be things right up your alley? That’s because when you search for Logan on Blu Ray Google remembers that and will target ads at you in these ad bars that sites have. Same with Facebook, ever notice while using Facebook you’ll see an ad for something you just looked for on Amazon or eBay? Same thing. So now this bill, which is expected to be signed by President Trump, will allow your provider to do the same thing. This probably means more junk mail sent to you email (thank god I never use my Verizon email) and more targeted pop-ups, an annoyance for sure, but in this era of selfies, Snapchat, and Instagram, people share way too much of themselves to begin with, and as I said, Google and Facebook have been doing this to you for a while now anyways.
There is one alarming thought to this, and I hope that this is just the Post trying to scare it’s older readers (because let’s face it, no one reads the Post anymore) this could lead to Republicans trying to change America’s stance on Net Neutrality. A quick overview on Net Neutrality is basically it stops providers from blocking access to sites as well as throttling you internet speed if you’re using a lot of data, or charging streaming sites such as Netflix or YouTube. Now this would be very alarming, but I don’t think it would fly with constituents given that most of us voting populous are tech savvy enough to know this is really bad and could flood our Representatives with letters telling them not to vote against Net Neutrality, which is what helped the last time this came up for a vote.
We’ll keep an eye on this closely to see what, if any, actual events occur because of this vote so make sure you’re checking back with us. So what do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments below.