Contact us today!
(800) 588-4430

Telesys Voice and Data Blog

Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Fort Worth area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Do You Feel About ISPs Selling Your Internet Browsing History?

How Do You Feel About ISPs Selling Your Internet Browsing History?

In October of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission designed a set of rules known as the Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal. These rules had intended to flip the status quo and require Internet service providers (ISPs) to gain their customers’ permission before they harvested their browsing histories to sell to advertisers. This proposal is now moot with the establishment of a new law that passed through Congress and was signed by President Trump in April 2017.

The huge levels of dissent surrounding this issue boil down to concerns over privacy. While the proposed rules didn’t necessarily prevent ISPs from selling your data for monetary gain, they would have required the ISP to secure permissions from you before they did so. The relationship between ISPs, the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC), and the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) also played a major role. Many politicians who were opposed to these new rules felt that the FCC had no business determining rules for ISPs, as they felt that responsibility for that was better managed by the FTC.

This opinion was shared by the current chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai. However, while the FCC no longer has the authority to forbid ISPs from selling their user’s browsing data to advertisers, no power has been given to the FTC to prevent such activity, either.

The government’s actions have provided ISPs with the same abilities as search engines and social media sites, with a few changes. First of all, search engines and social media do not require any sort of purchase, which leads to an implied agreement that in exchange for their free services, they may use your browsing data to personalize the results they show you (although this personalization does allow marketers to target specific demographics of users, which is a very powerful tool for businesses that many users feel is invasive). ISPs, on the other hand, do charge for their services, meaning that this ruling effectively allows ISPs from making twice the profit from you. Furthermore, instead of just tracking your history on select sites and services, an ISP has access to analyze your entire surfing history and profit off of it.

So what does this all mean to you?
Well, that depends. It is possible that ISPs will target online advertisements based on your individual browsing history, emphasizing products and services that you have shown some interest in before. This isn’t new. Amazon, for example, has mastered this through the use of remarketing. While this could presumably lead to an improved browsing experience for many, there is considerable pushback coming from many advocates for privacy.

This is largely due to the fact that your ISP could harvest this data from almost anywhere, including your personal email accounts and any other online activity, in order to sell it, or at least allow marketers to capitalize on it. Depending on the data collected, this could potentially include personally identifiable information or sensitive account credentials--which could then be up for sale to whomever wanted to buy them from the ISP. Even if we weren’t worried about ISPs selling this type of sensitive data, it opens up another potential way for hackers to gather that data, if the ISP is lax on security.

This isn’t the only advantage the ISP gains, either. Under the rules that were scrapped, an ISP would have been required to alert their customers of a data breach. Arguing that this would only lead to ‘notification fatigue,’ the ISPs were also able to remove these rules, meaning that they are no longer obligated to inform you should your data be at risk.

So, how can you prevent your sensitive information from being collected?
Unfortunately, that may be easier said than done. While ISPs still have free reign to collect your browsing data as they please, they are not able to do so if you opt out. This is not to say that all ISPs have made opting out easy, so you may have to make a phone call, and you have to take them at their word that they are no longer tracking you.

There are also some ISPs who are opposed to the privacy repeal, but around 80 percent of Americans have only one or two options for broadband in their area.

Utilizing a virtual private network is another option available to you, but this approach isn’t without its drawbacks, either. Just as an ISP can, a third-party VPN can access and sell your browsing data, if they so choose. For a personal user, a VPN can be costly and cumbersome, however businesses do benefit from them every day. Tor browsing is another option, although it is more complicated, slower, and can potentially be unsecure.

In short, there really isn’t an easy, guaranteed way to secure your browsing history against the peeping eyes of your ISP. All you can do is implement some of these methods to defend yourself to the best of your ability.

Comments

 
No comments yet
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 11 December 2017
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Blog Archive

Free Consultation

Sign up today for a
FREE Network Consultation

How secure is your IT infrastructure?
Let us evaluate it for free!

Sign up Now!

Free Consultation
 

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Hackers Cloud Privacy Business Computing Business Productivity Malware Microsoft Email Windows 10 Internet Backup Hosted Solutions Computer IT Services Software User Tips Smartphone Network Security Workplace Tips Ransomware Android Google Managed Service Provider Business Continuity Hardware Browser IT Support Mobile Devices Social Media App Efficiency Communication Disaster Recovery Smartphones Managed IT services Office Data Innovation Windows Remote Monitoring Data Management Facebook Miscellaneous WiFi Microsoft Office Upgrade Office 365 Small Business Big Data Outsourced IT Holiday Network Robot Password Artificial Intelligence Gmail Firewall Internet of Things Data Backup Spam Apps Phishing Hosted Solution Recovery Cloud Computing Customer Service Risk Management Mobile Device Management How To Save Money Money Business Management Word Hacker Work/Life Balance Content Filtering Productivity Data Recovery Apple Office Tips Unified Threat Management Avoiding Downtime Tip of the week Employer-Employee Relationship Server Government Cybersecurity Operating System Computers IT Support SaaS Saving Money Managed IT Services Remote Computing Business Growth Presentation Education Customer Relationship Management Cybercrime Outlook Chrome Passwords Encryption Social Alert Health Data storage Computing Hacking Telephone Systems Settings Computer Care Analytics Information Technology Virtual Reality Training The Internet of Things Humor Virtual Private Network Paperless Office IBM BYOD Running Cable Analyitcs Automobile Upgrades Budget VoIP End of Support Bandwidth Bring Your Own Device Search Maintenance Digital Payment Mouse Sports IT Management IT service Specifications Cortana Collaboration Legal Virtualization Administration Antivirus File Sharing Twitter Mobile Device User IT solutions Safety Managed IT Politics Monitors Travel Data loss Vendor Management Wireless Technology Applications Tablet Google Drive Retail Wireless Websites Going Green Best Practice Physical Security Website Lithium-ion battery Downtime Taxes communications Wi-Fi Botnet Business Owner Printing Windows 10 Samsung YouTube Marketing Mobile Computing LiFi Two-factor Authentication Competition Tech Support Heating/Cooling Black Friday Crowdsourcing Dark Data business network infrastructure VPN Dark Web Private Cloud Hard Disk Drive Identity Theft Drones eWaste Laptop Techology Point of Sale Hard Drives Firefox Access Control Servers Cyber Monday Virtual Desktop data services IT Sevices Augmented Reality Error Supercomputer Environment Halloween Disaster Resistance Refrigeration Assessment SharePoint Server Management flu season Help Desk User Error Deep Learning Fun Mail Merge Update IT Budget Troubleshooting Scary Stories Proactive IT Web Server Consultation Downloads Statistics Fort Worth Licensing Printer Address Administrator 3D Printing Chromebook Phone System IT Consulting Cameras Undo Multi-Factor Security IP Address Bluetooth flu shot Law Enforcement Software Tips Network Congestion Alt Codes Project Management Corporate Profile Unsupported Software Google Calendar Emoji Data Breach CCTV Quick Tips Mobile Office Fort Worth IT Gadget Display Hacks Typing Business Technology WannaCry Mobile Data Time Management Legislation Buisness Technology Laws DFW IT Service Cabling Current Events Cryptocurrency Knowledge Lenovo Network Management Processors iPhone Unified Threat Management G Suite Smart Technology Infrastructure Automation Staffing Bitcoin Experience Superfish Motion Sickness VoIP Touchscreen Software as a Service BDR Google Docs business communications systems Shortcut Distributed Denial of Service Disaster Writing GPS Windows 8 Scam Digital Personal Information Domains Technology Tips Google Maps Internet Protocol IT Consultant Unified Communications 5G Patch Management Managed IT Service Machine Learning Entrepreneur Uninterrupted Power Supply Social Engineering Tracking PowerPoint Networking Meetings Application Spyware Computer Repair Public Speaking Comparison Notifications Storage Users VoIP streamlines Cleaning Vulnerability Break Fix Relocation Solid State Drive Consumers Document Management Google Wallet Data Security Webcam How To Electronic Medical Records

Top Blog

Don't be Afraid to Replace Got an older PC that's causing you a lot of issues? Older technology is typically more expensive to run, and after a while, it's cheaper to simply buy a new desktop than it is to continue pouring money into something that always seems broken. It's a great time to buy wo...
QR-Code