Congress to US citizens: Want online privacy? Pay up!

Congress to US citizens: Want online privacy? Pay up!

Tuesday’s congressional vote to repeal U.S. restrictions on broadband providers doesn’t mean that online privacy is dead. Consumers will just have to

Banking Apps Found Vulnerable to MITM Attacks
DEF CON 2018: Critical Bug Opens Millions of HP OfficeJet Printers to Attack
Uber Paid Hackers $100,000 To Cover Up A Breach Impacting 57 Million Customers

Tuesday’s congressional vote to repeal U.S. restrictions on broadband providers doesn’t mean that online privacy is dead. Consumers will just have to pay for it.

The coming repeal, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, paves a clearer path for broadband providers to sell customers’ internet browsing history and other online data, without their consent.

Privacy advocates are worried. Imagine corporate giants snooping on your internet activities, and then bombarding your PC, phone and TV with targeted ads.

However, the privacy rule rollback might have an opposite effect too. Expect broadband providers and other internet services to emerge offering online privacy protections — but at a price.

“The cost for consumers wanting a private internet experience is going to go up,” said Travis LeBlanc, a former enforcement bureau chief with the Federal Communications Commission.  

To some degree, that’s already happening. Consumers worried about the privacy rule rollback have been flocking to VPN (Virtual Private Network) services, which can encrypt an internet user’s online connection. This can prevent broadband providers from learning what you’re browsing.

PureVPN has seen a “drastic increase in traffic,” said Mehmood Hanif, brand strategist for the provider. In addition, U.S. sales have increased by 37 percent in the last week. 

But the catch is that many VPNs aren’t free. They usually require a subscription that costs about $10 a month. 

COMMENTS