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Briefcase: ISPs And Browser Histories

Guest, Dean Leonard Baynes


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Recently, Congress repealed the FCC rule protecting internet privacy by requiring users to "opt-in" for the use of their private on-line history. Dean Leonard Baynes with the University of Houston Law Center explains the pros and cons of this change.

"The internet gives immediate access to information, and service providers want to capitalize on consumers' use of the web: by collecting and selling browser and app histories to advertisers.

Opponents argued that dropping the FCC rule could allow the sale of personal data to the highest bidder. Supporters said it leveled the playing field with other providers such as Google and Facebook, which were not similarly restricted under FCC rules.

Polls show Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to having their internet browsing habits and personal information disclosed. But, consumer advocates note there is technology available that can hide the user's actual computer identity."