Federal Law

New law would allow consumers’ online information to be sold

Scott Pelley reported on the CBS Evening News that “what you do and where you go on the Internet is about to become even less private” under “a new Federal law.” Errol Barnett added that the measure “allows your online information to be stored and sold by broadband internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, without your consent. Your browsing history, online shopping habits, even apps and GPS history on your cell phone can now be up for sale.” Sen. Jeff Flake “says singling out ISPs is unfair.” Flake: “You can always opt out by contact the Internet service provider and saying you don’t want your data to be sold.” Barnett said “there is currently no law requiring ISPs to allow you to opt out. The decision is up to each individual company, and…these businesses know your digital footprint is worth billions of dollars to marketing and ad agencies.”

Politico (3/29, Byers, 2.46M) says congressional Republicans “drew blood this week” by passing the bill and their “next target is likely to be” net neutrality rules. According to Politico, the Republican “technology offensive has handed a potential political weapon to Democrats and consumer groups, who are eager to use it.” Democrats “have ratcheted up the political rhetoric and messaging in hopes of turning voters against the GOP.”

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