On Monday, the House approved a resolution targeting unnecessary rules left over from the Barack Obama-era Federal Communications Commission. These rules required that your internet service provider ask your permission before selling people like me a list of the websites you visit on your computer or smartphone.
I agree wholeheartedly with Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador on this issue. Neither you, nor the government, has any place deciding what happens with your browsing history. That should be a private transaction between me, my colleagues in the advertising industry and your internet service provider.
We know best. Trust us.
There is so much that we can do with this information. Say, for example, you were to look up a WebMD article dealing with an embarrassing sexual dysfunction. This is valuable information for me and my advertising industry colleagues to know. Thanks to the tireless work of our congressional representatives, we’ll now be able to more easily get this information, and use it to market relevant products directly to you. Products such as Cialis, and cigar boats.
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And let’s not limit ourselves to the realm of advertising. Why not satisfy our idle curiosity? I look forward to purchasing the browsing history of my neighbor, so I can finally learn what websites he’s visiting on his smartphone when his bathroom light comes on at 2 a.m. It will likewise be thrilling to know the web-browsing habits of my local public officials. I’d even be willing to pay a modest premium for Risch’s, Crapo’s and Labrador’s browsing histories, just so that I can learn more about their (formerly) private interests and send them a truly thoughtful, and appropriate, thank you gift.
It’s the very least I could do for their support of this important legislation.
I urge you to take a minute and call our state’s congressional representatives, and thank them for making sure you have no part in deciding what happens with your browsing history. I really do appreciate all their hard work on my behalf.
Andrew Hoehn is a brand strategist who lives in Moscow.
S.J. Res. 34
Senate Joint Resolution 34 nullifies the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission entitled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.” It has passed in the House and Senate and now awaits the signature of President Donald Trump.
The rule published on December 2, 2016: (1) applies the customer privacy requirements of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband Internet access service and other telecommunications services, (2) requires telecommunications carriers to inform customers about rights to opt in or opt out of the use or the sharing of their confidential information, (3) adopts data security and breach notification requirements, (4) prohibits broadband service offerings that are contingent on surrendering privacy rights, and (5) requires disclosures and affirmative consent when a broadband provider offers customers financial incentives in exchange for the provider's right to use a customer's confidential information.