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Groups to FCC: Protect Privacy Rights, Block Internet Gatekeepers' Data Collection


#1

Groups to FCC: Protect Privacy Rights, Block Internet Gatekeepers' Data Collection

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The FCC must must protect consumers' privacy rights and promptly propose strong rules for broadband providers—who have access to troves of Internet users' data—that prevent unauthorized collection and sharing of that information, a diverse coalition told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Wednesday.

The call was made in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and signed by dozens of groups including the ACLU, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and Public Knowledge.


#2

"It's this gatekeeper role that gives ISPs access to a vast amount of private data about their customers, and creates a substantial potential for abuse."

In fact it's much worse than just ISP's having access. Many others also have access as well. Google, Facebook, Krogers, Target, and scores of others gather data on us as individuals 24/7. Few are aware that the Google Streetcar that ostensibly drives around photographing for Google Earth, is instead gathering data (pictures, contact lists, passwords, emails, buying habits, etc) from the houses it passes. Google admitted such in court and was fined $28 million. Which is a drop in the bucket when considering that the profits from the sales of our data is worth billions per year to Google. Ever wonder why you don't get a bill from Facebook or Google? It's because we're their product not their customers.

Why is it that any data generated by a corporation is covered under copyright laws but data generated by us as individuals isn't? Maybe it's time to pass legislation that requires corporations to pay us for the data we generate.

It isn't just ISP's that need to be regulated regarding personal data. It's the entire structure of corporate data mining that, as the report points out, is entirely unregulated and in woeful need of improved cyber security. What's going down now is essentially equivalent to the Gold Rush but it's happening under the radar. Yesterday's gold is today's data. Our modern day Rockefellers are the Zuckerbergs and Gates. And we're all vulnerable to the consequences.


#3

"Ever wonder why you don't get a bill from Facebook or Google? It's because we're their product not their customers."

And yet we're so bedazzled by the fun, the information, the fast communication at our fingertips, it's pretty close to unimaginable that we would slow down, step back, think hard, make demands, or resist the onrushing growth of this parasitic monster.

And in the immediate future? Plug your brain directly into this rapidly evolving corporate / national security matrix.


#4

Your implication that we as individuals have allowed this to happen is on the money. We've been seduced into thinking that the "free stuff" including apps comes without cost. And as you suggest, the horse is out of the barn so it's too late to close the gate.

However, it's still not to late to begin to regulate what is being done with our data and cyber security has to be in the mix. In essence, we have little to no security in place to circumvent rogue nations, criminal cartels, or individuals from hacking into everything that's connected. And more and more, everything is becoming connected including our infrastructure (water and electric grid), our cars, our homes, our appliances, transportation including trains and planes, and more.

We've built our cyber infrastructure on a house of cards and unless we do something soon, it will come tumbling down.