U.S. Broadband Providers Vow Not To Touch Customer Browsing Data

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Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast vowed not to monetize their customers’ online browsing data if President Trump signs a resolution to roll back restrictions on the practice.

Last week, The US. House of Representatives signed new legislation to undo Obama-era rules that bared broadband providers from collecting and selling their customers’ web browsing history without consent.

The rules were first adopted in October by the FCC and were due to enter in effect this spring. Internet Service Providers criticized the rules because they placed even more restrictions on them while letting Google and other Internet companies to get away with it.

The news that the rules would be eases led to an online backlash, which telecom giants had to address.

“We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history,”

a spokesperson for Comcast said.

The company disclosed that they didn’t sell customer data before the FCC rules and that they don’t plan to do it in the future. Comcast said that it is working on an improved version of its privacy policy to reassure customers that they don’t sell internet histories to third parties such as advertisers.

Verizon also said that it hadn’t sold the info in the past and it doesn’t plan on making a fast buck of it. The company unveiled that it currently has two programs based on user browsing data. One program enables advertiser to access “de-identified information” for research purposes while the other program offers “aggregate insights” to advertisers and other businesses.

The Trump administration said Wednesday that the president plans to sign off the resolution soon. Ironically, Republicans in Congress repealed the rules even before they went into effect. Under the new restrictions, ISPs would have needed users’ consent to collect private data on them such as financial info, geolocation, health data, browsing history, app data and many more.