US internet providers will soon need your permission to sell your data

US internet providers will soon need your permission to sell your data
Credit: Mark Van Scyoc /

New rules passed by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will see the end of an era for internet service providers (ISPs), as they’ll soon be required to secure customers’ permission before sharing or selling their personal data to third parties.

That covers sensitive information like your browsing history, location data, the apps you use, financial and health data, and the contents of your email correspondence. You’ll actually have to opt-in to allow ISPs to share these types of data.

For non-sensitive information like your preferred service tiers, you’ll be able to opt-out. Plus, ISPs will have to provide customers with clear notices about the sort of data they collect, how it could be used and who it will be shared with.

It’s worth noting that providers will still be able to collect and sell anonymized data that can’t be tied to a specific person or device.

In addition, the FCC has introduced guidelines for ISPs to take reasonable measures to secure customers’ sensitive data. Plus, if they suffer a security breach, they’ll be required to notify affected customers within 30 days of the issue being discovered.

Hopefully, these measures will help reduce spam and increase privacy for customers. According to USA Today, the rules will go into effect one year after they’re published in the Federal Register a few months from now.

FCC Adopts Privacy Rules to Give Broadband Consumers Increased Choice, Transparency and Security for Their Personal Data (PDF) on FCC

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