Tuesday , 25 September 2018
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IDG Contributor Network: Improve your internet privacy, with or without help from the government

President Trump, as part of his plan to roll back regulations put in place by President Obama, just signed legislation that eliminates the prohibition against internet service providers selling customer data without their written consent. Although the original restriction had not yet taken effect, its elimination ignited a firestorm of controversy among privacy organizations, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the American Civil Liberties Union (which tried to no avail to get Trump to veto the legislation at the last minute).

Having done a good bit of privacy consulting in the healthcare world, I have become somewhat of a privacy fanatic myself. For example, I pay higher medical insurance rates because I don’t care to share medical information with my employer.

Despite this, the change in regulations is not keeping me up at night, and I think it poses only a limited privacy risk for the enterprise.

As you probably recognize, since ISPs route our requests to the appropriate sites and relay the response back to us, they have access to a good bit of information about us. Among this data is the sites we visit, and the frequency of those visits. On the surface, this may be troubling. If you examine in more detail exactly what they can see, however, it is a good bit less troubling — for a variety of reasons.

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