Internet privacy has been a lot in the news lately (and not for a good reason). The last legal changes affecting the internet service providers have left the internet users in the USA in a vulnerable position.
This is a dangerous precedent, it might be tempting for other countries to take similar initiatives.
It’s time to get ready for a new internet as we’ll be facing many challenges from now on.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INTERNET PRIVACY
Let’s take a general look at this complex situation so we can figure out how this legal decision is affecting internet users.
How companies collect and use browsing information.
- The internet providers can get hold of a lot of your private information, as not all sites encrypt their data and even the ones using HTTPS might have some vulnerable areas (like third-party advertising).
- The HTTPS protocol itself is not sufficient, as the providers can still see the requests made to the Domain Name System (DNS).
- Although becoming increasingly popular, VPNs are not infallible and can be tricky to set up.
- Also, bear in mind the IoT connected devices are extremely vulnerable.
- On top of this, there are techniques for collecting sensitive information, like Website fingerprinting, popular among many ISPs.
- Supercookies, which technically are not cookies, track your personal data and might leak it too.
Get more details here.
Why the protection laws have been suspended.
The House of Representatives in conjunction with the Senate passed a bill (already sanctioned by President Trump), that repelled the FCC’s (Federal Communication Commission) privacy rules approved during the Obama administration.
In simple words, this means the ISPs (internet service providers) will be able to sell the data related to your browsing history like personal details, geolocation, health and family, without your prior consent.
How a lack of privacy is affecting other countries (EU).
The dismantling of the privacy laws in the USA is definitely a faux-pas, as it’s challenging other previous agreements like the Privacy Shield, that was set up to protect the privacy of the European Union citizens.
— Paul R. Jorgensen (@prjorgensen) 8 de abril de 2017
TIME TO PROTECT YOUR BROWSING DATA
- How to protect yourself: learning the basics and getting safe is just the starting point.
- Educating ourselves about online privacy is a must. BestVPN offers a comprehensive resource: The Ultimate Online Privacy Guide.
- Invest in the right tools. Not all VPNs are reliable. Check and compare before deciding. There are many good options available but good discernment is advised, as there are some grey areas. If you are new to VPNs and wish to learn more about the technical details, Pixel Privacy offers practical information here. Also, consider using alternative products and resources.
- Get involved in political action and take initiatives, it’s time.
- This a serious matter, but we can still have some good laughs!