What the internet privacy rule changes mean for you

- New regulations, designed to increase privacy protections while browsing the internet, won’t happen after all.

The regulations would have required internet service providers to get permission before selling your information to marketers. But with the regulations made invalid, internet service providers can sell the information—unless you opt out.

The regulations were approved by the FCC in the Obama Administration, and were intended to go into effect this year. However, Congress passed a bill that kills the regulations; President Trump signaled he would sign the bill.

“This law puts us into a more traditional realm where we’ve been in the United States, which allows most marketers to get one bite at the apple, and if you don’t like the marketing you can opt out,” said Paul Luehr, co-chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice at Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm in Minneapolis.

To prevent your internet service provider from selling your information, like browsing history, you’ll need to go to the privacy settings and “opt out.”

“Consumers still have protections. They’re just going to have to be more aggressive and assertive in telling the company what their preferences are,” Luehr, an attorney who use to work for the FTC, told Fox 9.

For consumers seeking privacy, Luehr suggests deleting cookies after browsing, using private browser settings, and researching companies’ privacy policies.

“Click through that privacy policy, figure out what the collection processes are, and either change your preferences from within that website, or decide you're going to take your business elsewhere, that’s still an option for consumers,” Luehr said.

While privacy advocates criticize the bill, supporters say it levels the playing field between websites and internet service provides. Websites, like Facebook and Google, use opt-out policies. Service providers argue the same standard should apply to their businesses.

“The world has been divided for a long time between free market advocates, who tend to be in the opt-out camp, and more privacy centric advocates that believe you should give an opt-in choice to consumers,” Luehr said.

While providers can sell your information without your permission, a trade organization promises the companies will still keep some details provide: financial, health, and children’s information.

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