Your Browsing History is For Sale

If you’ve been following tech news, you’ve probably heard that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is allowed to give away your private browsing history. They may share it with their partners, sell it, or utilize it for customized advertisements as they see fit. Privacy Groups are decrying the decision as an unprecedented invasion into user rights, but if you’ll give me a minute I’d like to explain why it is actually a good thing.

The issue at hand is that on April 3rd, President Trump signed into law a “Congressional Review” bill that repealed last-minute Obama-era FCC Internet Privacy Rules that set strict limits to the ways that ISPs are allowed to use records of your personal browsing. The bill passed on a party line with no Democrats voting for the bill and only about a dozen Republicans in the House voting against. The rules had been approved by President Obama’s FCC appointees but had not yet gone into effect since the new Republican Chairman that Trump assigned to take lead of the commission put a hold on them until Congress could act.