Dismantling Internet Privacy Laws
Back on March 23, a set of Internet privacy rules were repealed. These rules would have required consent to be given for internet service providers (ISPs) to sell your browsing data.
In early 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) classified ISPs as a utility. This is much like your water, or electricity. This change in classification opened the doors for net neutrality laws. These laws made it illegal to throttle Internet bandwidth based on what the user was doing (i.e streaming videos online or other high usage activities).
These laws also meant that ISPs had to follow privacy guidelines. These guidelines protect the user’s privacy and information. For example, telemarketers are required to have a do not call list and can only call within certain hours of the day. For internet users, these rules protect your browsing history, data, and personal information.
What do ISPs want with our online data?
Much of the internet is now ad based. Those ads are developed to target specific groups of people. Often they are targeted for having certain interests or online behaviors.
ISPs want to sell users data to advertising agencies under the premise that doing so will better market products and service to you through ads. But the data includes the web pages visited, personal information, and creates user profiles It can even include financial or medical information. The data they collect is far too elaborate for simply connecting us with better products/services.
Protecting our privacy online
The current solution most are resorting to for working online is either creating (that guy wrote a great article) or investing in a VPN. Since this method effectively hides data from ISP, it prevents them from being able to sell our information.
However, as most of us have noticed over the past few years, there has been an increasingly large amount of cheap VPN scam services. Problem is that the general public doesn't know any better than to use them. I have recently been working with a local IT/Comm business (ESI Communications) owned by a buddy of mine that is working on a VPN solution for their residential clients.