UCO Students Talk Internet User Privacy

UCO Students Talk Internet User Privacy

This June 19, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington. Republicans in the House have followed the Senate in overturning an Obama-era broadband privacy regulation that set tough restrictions on what companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T could do with customers’ personal information. It still needs President Donald Trump’s signature. Consumer advocates and Democrats have slammed Republicans for gutting the Federal Communications Commission’s regulation, saying it will leave Americans online unprotected; Republicans and industry groups counter that spiking the rule just maintains the status quo. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

A new provision to the current internet privacy law could be revoked, but the final step of the process awaits the signature of President Donald Trump, according to CNET.com.

The removal of the internet privacy law was brought up by new Federal Communications Commission director Ajit Pai, as this would help internet service providers compete with free database market companies like Facebook and Google.

“It is definitely unjust when you consider the effects of this rule that once protected the U.S. citizens’ private information from big companies, big brother for sure.” UCO student David Marshall, who is minoring in computer science, said.

The Internet Privacy Law was instated by former president Barack Obama in mid-October of 2016 he left his post, according to the New York Times. This protected consumers from having their personal information being sold by ISPs for profit.

Information that could be given away by the ISPs includes personal medical records, browsing Internet history and previous apps used from the consumers of the companies. The companies impacted are AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, who would be able to share the information to whoever wishes to purchase them.

According to BBC News, the passing of the bill on March 28 outraged Democrats, who deemed the bill “unjust” and “limiting freedom” because of its provisions that allow the sharing of clients’ personal information strictly for profit.

This was deemed by Pai as a fair advantage for the telecommunication companies to advertise as well as their zero-rating policy being renewed, according to The Verge. Zero rating provides free data for broadband streaming services for Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

Chair of UCO’s Association for Computing Machinery, Caleb Power, offers an alternative to the predicament of the Internet Privacy Law being revoked.

“Students can use VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access websites so that they do not feel like they are tracked for where they go to,” Power said. “They could also use the recommended site of OpenVPN to hide their internet activities as long as it does not interfere with illegal activities.”

The law will be revoked as soon as President Donald Trump signs it in the coming weeks.

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