The U.S. Congress has moved to undo FCC rules from the Obama-era that would protect the internet privacy of American citizens. The measure goes to the desk of President Donald Trump, who has indicated that he “strongly supports” the repeal effort.
The rollback of the FCC’s rules means that Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, can now easily collect, track and sell your everyday internet history and usage to online marketers.
Customers need to be aware that their ISP can do more than simply collect data related to the web pages you visit. They can also follow your browsing activity whenever a device you own connects the internet.
If you login to Facebook from your cell phone, your ISP can log this activity and subsequently provide the information to marketers for a targeted ad campaign, for example.
However, all is not lost in the battle to protect your online privacy. There’s still a chance that your provider will allow you to opt-out of some parts of the data collection. The FTC favors this approach, although ISP’s could simply ignore the FCC recommendation.
Otherwise, protecting your online privacy going forward means that users need to erect a barrier between themselves and the new intrusion capabilities of their ISP.
Subscribing to a virtual private network (VPN) service is the most effective way to make certain that your internet access is private and encrypted.