Your Privacy For Sale
Ethics

Your Privacy For Sale

Trump and the Republicans Let Cable Companies Spy Into Your Online Life and Sell What They Learn

Donald Trump is expected to sign a bill the U.S. House passed Tuesday that would strip you of your right to keep your internet provider from knowing if you are sick, where you are, or what your children are up to.

The 215-to-205 vote would roll back rules by former President Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission that would have required Internet providers to get your permission before collecting data about what you look at on the web and your location. Those rules had not yet gone into effect.

“It totally wipes out privacy protections for consumers on the Internet,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). “I don’t want anyone to take my information and sell it to someone and make a ton of money off of it just because they can get their mitts on it.”

The White House issued a statement before the House vote supporting Congress stripping you of privacy rights.

The bill, which was sponsored in the Senate by Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who said the rules were “economically harmful.”

Looking at what sites you are visiting could mean that internet service providers—companies such as AT&T, Verizon or Comcast—can learn and sell information about your politics, your financial affairs or your health. Supporters of the rollback point out that such information is already available to companies such as Google and Facebook.

Mignon Clyburn, the only Democrat left on the FCC, told The New York Times that the rules would have given people control over their information.

“The proprietary information these consumers have at their disposal should not only be treated with care, but consumers should have a voice,” she said.

ACTION BOX / What you can do about it

Call the White House and tell Trump to protect your privacy. The numbers: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414. Contact your representative and senators. Contact your ISP and tell them to keep your life private.

March 29, 2017