- Internet service providers including Verizon, AT&T and Comcast have published information letting customers know that they do not plan to sell their private information after Congress repealed internet privacy rules last week.
- Congress' decision last week blocked rules introduced in 2015 that prohibited ISPs from sharing web browsing history with other advertisers and other companies without a customer's consent.
- "Let’s set the record straight. Verizon does not sell the personal web browsing history of our customers. We don’t do it and that’s the bottom line," Verizon said in a statement.
With the privacy rules now overturned, ISPs could potentially share data with other companies. But the ISPs want to reassure customers that they don’t plan to do so.
The irony, experts say, is that most ISPs already use customers’ data for their own internal advertising engines, so they don’t have much reason to sell it to third parties. The ISPs themselves would rather keep that data to themselves.
Most of the ISPs do allow customers to opt out of their targeted advertising, although they often don’t make it easy to do so.
It’s unclear how FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will interpret the law, however. But consumers reacted with concern that ISPs could sell personal data if they ever chose to. Businesses that look to buy such information can generally find it for sale from a number of sources today, so the ruling does not necessarily change much it the scheme of things.