Trump Repealed a Controversial Internet Privacy Policy: What Does It Mean to You?

US President Donald Trump signed into a law a repeal of a controversial Internet privacy policy pushed by the Federal Communications Commission, which should take effect in December. The regulations outlined the limitations of Internet service providers (ISPs), such as asking permission before sharing customers’ personal data to third parties. The repeal, therefore, removes these limitations.

Is it time to fret now? Before you do, consider these important facts:

Look-Back

This Internet policy to protect consumer privacy underwent several objections and challenges. In the end, these ISPs fell under common carriers and placed them on the same side as telephone networks. The regulation asked ISPs to let customers opt in or grant consent before they could share information, such as web history, app usage, and modes of communication. But there’s no restriction about e-mail addresses unless the customer decides to opt out.

The Critics are Firing Back

While the purpose of the regulation is noble, critics are still firing back over its supposed unfairness. They believe the policy favors Internet web services, such as Facebook and Google since customers often don’t opt out, and therefore, they have a more flexible option on what to do with customer data.

 What ISPs are Saying

Some big ISPs, such as Comcast and Verizon, remain committed to protecting the users’ privacy by not selling personal data to third parties without consent. AT&T, on the other hand, said they are not changing their privacy policy.

But What If?

While these ISPs pledge to protect users’ privacy, the repeal may mean they can do whatever they want with the data. You may notice more targeted ads appearing while browsing. Moreover, these ISPs can sell your data to sellers with malicious intentions, such as monitoring your communication.

On a good note, Private Tunnel explains that if you want to feel safer when browsing, you may use an Internet tunnel service that can encrypt data as it travels across the Web. The service also hides your exact location, among others.

It pays to take precautionary measures when using the Internet to protect your personal data. Be extra careful when sharing your information on various online channels, including social media and shopping sites. Check the privacy policy to learn how they use customer data.