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What to Expect Now That Internet Providers Can Collect and Sell Your Web Browser History

What to Expect Now That Internet Providers Can Collect and Sell Your Web Browser History

Get to know the major details on internet provider selling the user’s browser history

Just a few weeks legislation was passed by the Congress which empowers the internet providers to collect as well as user’s web browsing history and app usage. This means a great blow to the privacy of internet users and it has left everyone confused and scared. This legislation is a boon for the business community as they will be market their products & services in a more decisive fashion by making use of the user’s online behaviour. But there are few ways which can help in safeguarding the online privacy in a more refined way.

What actually is legislation is all about?

Congress understands the importance of the online privacy therefore the ISPs are simply banned from collecting, sharing, and storing as well selling certain type of personal information which can result in revealing too much about the user. This includes the app usage data, location information and browsing histories without the prior consent of the user. If you wish to safeguard these make sure you read the internet provider documents clearly signing up.

Can ISP sell a user’s internet browsing history?

ISP has their own privacy policy which exclusively covers this type of information but it is not applicable in all the cases. So if the personal information like browsing history is a part of the privacy policy then sharing or selling of such data will be a violation of its own policy. For this they can be tried in the federal court as they are indulging in unfair business practices.

An example will help in illustrating this point; a few years ago Verizon introduced the supercookie program which happened to track too much for the company’s benefit. It was an intrusion to the user’s privacy and also a violation of its own privacy policy because of this supercookie was removed at the end.

How you can protect yourself now?

It is sensible to be worried about your privacy under the given circumstances but there are certain ways which will help in safeguarding it a great extent. You must have heard about the VPN or virtual private network in the past now the time is rife to make use of it. By paying a small amount you can get a VPN which will hide your location, web surfing activities and personal data from your ISP through encrypting all the internet traffic. Secondly using Tor is also a good option as it works by masking the identity of the users by sending their internet traffic through a complex network of intermediary servers.

This doesn’t mean government will snoop on you

This is a grave misconception held by many since the new legislation has come into being. However it allows the ISPs to get into the data mining business. Federal and governmental agencies will still make use of traditional ways of gaining information directly from the ISP through subpoena. But ISP will be able to sell your web surfing habits and behaviour to the marketers by building active data sets.

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