Research conducted in light of Senate Joint Resolution 34 being passed into law by President Donald Trump
Comparitech.com, a leading security and privacy advice and comparison website, has found that the vast majority (92%) of Americans disagree with the passing of the Senate Joint Resolution 34 bill, which repeals privacy rules that bar internet service providers from selling users’ web browsing data to third parties without permission.
- 92 percent of Americans believe their internet provider should not be allowed to monitor their activity online and sell the data to third parties without their consent
- Four out of five Americans said that if their Representative or Senator voted in favor of the bill, it would dissuade them from voting for them in the future
- Almost half said they would pay extra for their ISP to keep their browsing data private
- Three out of five respondents said they would pay for a VPN subscription to maintain their privacy
- Six out of ten respondents, both men and women, said they would change their browsing habits under the new law
The full results can be found on Comparitech.com’s blog: https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/study-america-hates-the-broadband-privacy-repeal/
The new law repeals an Obama-era FCC rule that prevented ISPs from selling off customers’ browsing data to advertisers and other third parties without consent. The vote in Congress was largely split along party lines, receiving no support from Democrats, while only a handful of Republicans voted against the bill. The bill was signed last week by President Donald Trump and thus passed into law despite opposing public opinion.
“On the whole, these results are not surprising as the signing of the bill has now left people losing a great deal of privacy,” said Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate, Comparitech.com. “President Trump wants a more secure and protected America and repealing this law is a big step, in his view, towards that.
“The power, effectively, has now been handed to the ISPs who hold regional monopolies or duopolies, making it extremely difficult for new, smaller competitors to enter the market,” he continued. “In addition, ISPs now have the mentality to go and sacrifice privacy for profits, making it a nightmare for customers who may want to switch providers.”
The Comparitech.com poll uncovered some surprising stats. Despite presumptions that people became less concerned with internet privacy as they got older as seniors are traditionally less tech savvy and thus care less or don’t understand. In actual fact, every age group, even senior citizens, were far more aware of the bill than the 18-24 demographic. Interestingly, it was the 18-24 age group that turned out to be the least opposed to their browsing data being sold to third parties.
“While using a VPN is a simple solution to maintain privacy, in the wake of the broadband privacy repeal, we’ve seen reports of VPN-related scams capitalizing on the new law. So users must choose a VPN with care. Many VPNs found on app stores and Google can actually worsen privacy by mining data, injecting advertisements into web browsers, or even deploying malware. To help with this, we’ve analyzed the privacy and security practices of more than 20 popular VPN providers,” concluded Bischoff.