On March 23 the US Senate has voted in favor of S.J 34 to allow ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to collect and sell your personal information without your permission. It will now head to the House for approval.
Whether it will be approved or not, the Senate’s vote is a shocking news for Americans. It reveals the intent of prying more and more into your personal life and without even asking your permission.
If S.J 34 is approved, ISPs like Comecast, AT&T, Verizon, Charter and others will have the right to collect your sensitive data and make a profit out of it selling it to third parties. You will be defenseless since they do not even need to inform you or ask your permission. By doing this the senate is killing the Privacy Rules adopted by the previous Federal Communications Commission.
That would totally overturn the rules approved last October 2016 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designed to protect the privacy of US citizens. The rules require ISP to obtain an opt-in consent from its customer before sharing web browsing data and other sensitive information with third parties.
The famous show the Big Brother is becoming now a reality in every American house. If the rules are approved, you will have an eye monitoring 24/7 your activities and your habits. You, your family and your children will be totally exposed and all that will be entirely legal.
This will mark the end of your privacy. Right now to protect your digital life and state safe online is tough. If the rule is approved, it will be practically impossible for the regular Internet user to have some privacy online.
Isn’t that ironic?
ISP will make money on you twice. When you pay your bill and then when they sell your data how many times they like. And you will have no say in all that.
What Are The Dangers Of ISPs Collecting And selling Your Sensitive Information
Besides the moral issues that the new rules may raise, there will be real consequences on the life of each American.
At the moment, nothing major will change for Internet users. The S.J 34 is expected to be enforced by December 2017.
But in case that doesn’t happen, your data will be at your ISP total disposal. They can sell sensitive information about you, your family or your children to whoever they want and as many times as the like.
You will be for sure bombarded by tons of unwanted ads. You will find spam in your email inbox, popups as you surf the internet, telemarketing calls and so on.
But that’s not all.
Spying your activity on the web, there is enormous sensitive information that may be collected about you.
For instance, it will be very easy to know which one is your bank, where you go on vacation, what newspaper you read, your political views, your sexual orientation, financial information, healthcare info, and more.
Can you see the danger in all that?
As this information will start to circulate freely, you’ll never know in what hands will happen to be and how it will be used eventually. Your privacy will be entirely disrupted.
To summarize how dangerous the new rules will be, right after the vote Sen. Ed Markey said:
President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result [from] the Republican roll-back of broadband privacy protections
It is time for Americans to take action to protect themselves. Even if the rules will not be approved this time, it is just a matter of time. The US Government’s intentions are pretty clear and sooner or later they will hit their target.
How To Protect Yourself From ISPs
Whoever use the Internet should always take some preventive measures.
One thing you should do immediately on any of your devices is to change DNS settings.
Just changing this setting, you will bypass your ISP servers and direct your traffic to other servers you choose. That will give you an advantage on your ISP provider but not total safety and privacy.
The only way you have to protect yourself completely is through a VPN connection.
The VPN will encrypt all your traffic. Even if your ISP or anybody else should intercept it, it will be impossible to read and therefore completely useless.
The VPN will hide even your IP address. You may fake your real location so that not only the ISP cannot see your data but it can’t even know where you are connecting from.
A safe and reliable VPN connection costs you just a few bucks a month and it will guarantee you complete safety and privacy online.
Considering Snowden revelations, NSA spying into your private life and the vote of the Senate to favor ISPs, there is no reason for an American not to have a VPN connection.