There has always been a lot of discussion about the amount of privacy that broadband and wireless internet subscribers should have. This argument, however, has usually been between the privacy laws concerning private citizens and the government. This debate has now headed in a new direction with the Federal Communications Commission targeting internet service providers.
There is undoubtedly a greater number of utilization of the internet and its services. People are using the internet in their daily lives and daily activities. This of course, has resulted in a flourishing business for many sectors. Wireless carriers and cell tower real estate companies such as towerpoint.com are just some of these entities. Internet service providers, however, have found yet another way to make this particular industry fruitful.
Internet service providers have a great deal of access to the information regarding individual’s internet activities. It may seem as though the majority of most people’s daily web surfing is quite uninteresting. What many do not realize, however, is that it can be a treasure trove of information for advertising agencies. This is due to the increasing popularity of targeted advertising.
When advertising companies have access to people’s browsing habits, they gain insight into their likes, dislikes, as well as their shopping habits. They can use this material to tailor their advertisements to fit individuals. This in turn will make the ads more appealing to users.
The FCC’s Aim
The FCC is not necessarily trying to prohibit this collection of information from ad agencies via the internet service providers. The Commission is, however, attempting to restrict the flow of information. The FCC is attempting to get the users whose information is being sold, involved in the process. This means that internet service providers would have to ask permission from their subscribers before they sold this information.
The FCC would also like consumers to have greater access to how secure their information is. The new laws would fortify the amount of security that is placed around customer statistics. The Commission seeks to force the internet service providers to inform their consumers when a hack takes place. In the event that these laws are passed, they would be the most impressive regulations that have been placed against internet service providers.
There are several entities that do not agree with the FCCs plan, namely the internet service providers who seek to curb this ruling. There are also limitations to the laws attempting to be enacted. For instance, the only companies that will affected are those that connect the users to the internet. Social media giants such as Facebook or corporations such as Google will be exempt from these regulations. This is because such entities fall under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission. This government agency has far less capability in monitoring the activities of the corporations under its jurisdiction.
Internet privacy is once again under debate. This round, however, it is the companies that are providing the internet that might be saddled. The ruling on March 31st, 2016 will be just the beginning of the whole affair.
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