The following is an OPO contribution from Gregory Eisenberg. If you have a contribution you would like considered for publication, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
But it doesn’t stop there. They will know your health concerns, where you bank, and even the humiliating things that you Google search in the middle of the night. Essentially, they have access to your every keystroke, every time that you open your browser. Who are they? Everyone and anyone. Data is becoming so unprotected that Pornhub has implemented its own upgraded security measures for the sake of not only their user base, but also a nation of exposed web surfers. Are you really that shocked that adult entertainment websites are showing you more care than Congress? Internet privacy is dead, all in the name of “advertising”.
Our Central Florida members of the House and Senator Nelson voted to protect us, but that wasn’t enough. Senator Rubio sold us out, but what else is new? Senate Joint Resolution 34 passed through the Senate, the House, and the President this past month. This resolution nullified a Federal Communications Commission regulation entitled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”. You read that correctly: They repealed a rule that protected consumer privacy – my privacy, your privacy, and even their own privacy. As a result, your Internet Service Provider can collect your information and sell it without your knowledge and/or consent. What about if your ISP is hacked or breached? The regulation roll back makes it so you are not legally entitled to a notification. Oh yeah, and if you don’t consent to these new measures, it’s now legal for ISPs to reject you service. Thank you sir, may I have another?
There is one state that understands how vital Internet security is for their residents after this repeal. Senator Ron Latz of the Minnesota State Senate added an amendment to their economic development budget bill, which passed with a 66-1 bipartisan vote. A similar version was also passed in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Both of these amendments prevent telecommunications or Internet Service Providers from “collecting personal information from a customer resulting from the customer’s use …without express written approval from the customer.” Going further, the senate bill prevents the provider from refusing service to you, even if you don’t allow them to sell your information. I am eager to see these same measures from our leaders in Tallahassee.
Since our Florida legislature is already in session, we need at least a similar amendment to ensure our browsing privacy. Next session, writing the full repealed regulations into Florida law would be a real, bipartisan victory for the residents. Advertisers already source plenty of information to pinpoint their consumers – I know first hand, I work in marketing. If you compared the Internet to a highway, an ISP is your “on-ramp”. Companies like Facebook and Google track what you do on their websites, but this would open the floodgates, as an ISP would track your entire Internet usage. As we move towards an all-digital world and the risks that come with it, we cannot afford to lose Internet privacy. I am calling upon our Florida Representatives to act. The power to protect citizens is in their hands.
Gregory Eisenberg is an Orlando Businessman and Real Estate Marketing Manager that serves on multiple community organizations and boards in Central Florida.