We have witnessed many incidences in the past where ISPs compromised our privacy in the past. Over 3 million people told US government: We value online privacy and we value our online security. Eventually, the combined wave for net neutrality convinced FCC to get strict on ISPs last year, when it passed a new set of rules to strengthen our privacy. However, some members of Congress are preparing to hit back with Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn the FCC’s privacy protections. It is time you raise your voice against it as it would allow ISPs to play with our privacy. Let us see what 5 creepiest things your ISP could do if Congress becomes successful in overturning FCC’s Privacy Protections:
5 Creepy Things Your ISP Could Do if Congress Becomes Successful In Overturning FCC’s Privacy Protections
Marketing our Data
Do you know that your data was being sold openly in the market before the FCC strengthened the regulations? If no, then you must as it is no one but your ISPs who are doing it. All your activities over the internet are extremely useful for the companies to target specific customers. Some, if not all ISPs sell information about your browsing history, demographics, locations etc to marketing companies. If Congress repeals the FCC Privacy Protections, all these malicious activities will surely start again.
Hijacking what your search
It was not very long ago that an incident was reported where ISPs were reportedly hijacking people’s search history. They were working with a company named Paxfire to hijack everything you looked for at various search engines. Top brands pay companies like Paxfire to direct customers to their website instead of showing the genuine results. Our ISPs provide all the information about what we are searching for money. Then, these companies study our search pattern to modify the results and lead us to those brands. In this way, you can never actually get to the better results that might be available.
Studying your browsing pattern and insert Ads
If you did not notice it before, do it next time. When you open a few websites, you see the ads running on the sides or bottom. The strange thing is that they advertise exactly what you have been looking for or looked for on the search engine. Do you think it is a co-incidence? Unfortunately not, it is you ISPs who are spying on you and sending the information about the brands of stuff that you want to buy. And then, you get those exact ads to attract your attention. You might not believe but even the trusted ISPs like AT&T have been caught doing so before.
Pre-installing apps on your phone to track your browsing activities
So, did you just buy a new smartphone and it had some preinstalled apps? Yes, there are supposed to be some apps to help you but not spy on your browsing history. Unfortunately, many brands including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have done it before. Trevor Eckhart who is a researcher found that Carrier IQ, a preinstalled software have been put intentionally to steal your browsing information. These apps work silently in the background and track almost everything that you do on your smartphone including the encrypted URLs. FCC Privacy Protections have been holding them back but it could easily change with Congressional Review Act resolution.
Forcing undesired tracking cookies without your knowledge
It might again surprise you but it is true. Verizon Wireless was caught for inserting supercookies into the traffic of its mobile users. While users were browsing without any worries on Private Browsing Mode or Incognito, ISPs were still recording your browsing activities. It was only after the intervention of FCC in 2015 that Verizon bothered to update its privacy policies.
These are just a few things that have been uncovered. Things can be worse if Congress manages in Overturning FCC’s Privacy Protections. Now that you know about the threats, it is time to act and protect your privacy.