Telecom giants and internet providers AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have stated that they will not sell the personal data and browsing history of their customers. The three companies jointly made this announcement on behalf of the decision made by the congress in scrapping the internet privacy regulations passed under the tenure of President Obama. Customers have expressed concerns that their internet activity and personal data will be collected and sold to third parties without prior permission. The US House of Representatives has made this decision by passing the legislation to overturn the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, Ben Quinn stated, “We had the same protections in place the day before the Congressional resolution was passed, and we will have the same protections the day after President Trump signs the CRA into law. The Congressional action had zero effect on the privacy protections afforded to consumers.”
Karen Zacharia, Verizon’s chief privacy officer has stated about the existence of two programs using customers browsing data. She stated that “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.”
The FCC has previously passed the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules as it deemed the data collection policies of telecom companies as an intrusion into the privacy of internet users. These rules enacted by the FCC would have prevented internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon in collecting their customers browsing data without their permission. However, the new congressional vote has placed internet privacy at risk under President Trump’s administration.