Comcast, Verizon, AT&T reassure users about browsing data


Last week, Republicans in Congress just barely advanced the legislation to the president's desk, with zero Democrats voting in favor of the consumer protection repeal.

Verizon does not sell personal web browsing histories and has no plans to do so in the future, a company spokesman said.

On March 23, the Republican-controlled Senate voted strictly along party lines in favor of the bill to kill the FCC regulations.

The Obama-backed rules - which would have taken effect later this year - would have banned Internet providers from collecting, storing, sharing and selling certain types of customer information without user consent.

Some of the Congress is also of the opinion that the ISP's will sell personal data to the highest bidder.

"We do not sell our broadband customers' individual web browsing history". The bill is to do more to protect customer's privacy than the Google Search Engine, or Facebook Inc. does.

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Without the FCC rules in place, ISPs may collect and sell web browsing histories, health and financial data, the contents of emails and messages, app usage data, Social Security numbers, and other private information. "We did not do it before the FCC's rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so", said Comcast senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief privacy officer Gerard Lewis in a blog post.

Privacy advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed the rollback of the law and have argued that privacy protections are desperately needed to keep consumers safe.

But social media and internet search websites don't have access to almost as much data as internet service providers.

The repeal means the cable company, or whoever provides your internet connection, can lawfully track your online activities and sell that information - valuable to advertisers and many others - to companies without letting you know. Spicer also criticized the FCC's 2015 reclassification of ISPs as common carriers, a designation that was used to implement both the privacy rules and net-neutrality rules.

"If you want to protect your communications on the Internet going forward, I think you're going to have to consider getting a virtual private network, using various privacy protections that most people have never heard of", he said.

Meanwhile Mr Trump signed three other bills on Monday, including one that eliminates a rule banning the use of tactics like baiting and shooting bears from the air on the National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.