The US Senate and Congress have both voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to get consumers’ explicit consent before selling or sharing web browsing data and other personal data with advertisers as well as other companies.
ISP now stands for “invading subscriber privacy”
… in the words of senator Ed Markey, a Democrat.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines to repeal Internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission just days before Donald Trump won the election.
The rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required Internet service providers to get the person’s permission before collecting and sharing personal data on everything from web browsing history to geo-location information.
Providers would also have been required to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared.
But on March 23rd all this turned into a mere dream. The Senate prevents all of these rules from taking effect, unless the House or President Trump decide otherwise. And we strongly doubt the latter would happen.
What this could mean to you
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) put together some highly likely and deeply worrying uses that will now be made of US citizens’ data. Among these:
Selling user location and personal information to marketers: this is something that some ISPs already do but hesitate to admit, fearing public reaction. With this vote, companies no longer have to fear that.
Hijacking searches: a search for a particular object may automatically redirected to a company offering that product – a company that paid your ISP for that traffic and which is most likely not offering the best deal.
Inserting ads: what in the past was a nuisance may now become the norm. Ads will probably pop up everywhere (search engines, social media) based on your traffic.
If these don’t seem too worrying, because ISPs already had access to our personal data, think about it like this: now it is perfectly legitimate for them to do so.
So, what is the best solution?
ISPs will now be given carte blanche to use their customers’ data as they please. A VPN such as CyberGhost is the best way to keep your personal data private and protected.
How does CyberGhost help you?
1. The IP address assigned to you by your ISP is replaced with one from CyberGhost, which you will share with other users, so it will be impossible to be associated with you. You become anonymous. You become untraceable.
2. With CyberGhost, you can prevent identity theft. We live in an online environment where hackers are a real threat and can steal the personal details you gave your ISP. Encrypt your online activity and stay safe from hackers with CyberGhost Premium.
3. Hackers can also use your IP address to send spyware/malware or other harmful viruses to your computer which in turn can allow them full access to your personal data. Prevent spyware and malware with CyberGhost.
4. When you shop online, your recorded IP address can be retrieved by hackers and used to gain access to your computer or to monitor your online activities. Shop online safely with CyberGhost.
5. Some websites store your IP address and email address when you visit their site and then use this information to spam your computer or email with ads. Prevent spam with CyberGhost.