The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted 3-2 to stop internet service providers from sharing personal data with third parties, like location data or browsing history, without a person's explicit consent. Image: AP
ISP's have been looking to capitalise on (sell) the wealth of data generated by its users for some time now, and this move might have just thrown cold water on those ambitions. As Politico very smartly points out, this is a kick in the shin for AT&T on its quest to become an advertising giant with its planned $US86 billion ($113 billion) acquisition of Time Warner. These new rules will make it harder for these ISPs to sweep up personal and intimate data so that they can sell it to advertisers or other third parties.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler — a guy who actually gives a shit about your online privacy and how these massive multi-billion dollar telecoms treat its customers — touted the win. "It's the consumers' information," Wheeler told the Washington Post. "How it is used should be the consumers' choice. Not the choice of some corporate algorithm."
Of course, the telecoms have whined at every step of the process, but the US government did something that benefits the public. The FCC is protecting privacy from the profit-crazed telecoms.
"There is a basic truth: it is the consumer's information," Wheeler told Politico. "It is not the information of the network the consumer hires to deliver that information. What this item does is to say that the consumer has the right to make a decision about how her or his information is used. "
Remember: There is literally zero benefit for you as a customer and user give up your personal information so that rich guys at tech companies or telecoms can sell it. With that in mind, you (and the government) should do everything in your power to restrict these companies' stranglehold on your data. There's nothing in it for you but there is a ton of money for these companies in using you as the product.