Privacy? What’s That?

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
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So President Trump signed the no-privacy-for-you resolution by both Houses of Congress (cheering or running-away-and-hiding may commence; they did something!) thus rolling back the former Administration’s rules intended to force Internet service providers (ISPs) to keep data private unless subscribers opted in. That means ISPs can track customer Internet usage and sell the data without asking anyone.  This brings ISPs (finally) onto equal legal ground with the behemothic edge companies (you know, those Internet guys who don’t pay … yet … for transmission costs but already sell or use all of yours and my data).

It’s important to note that the new Administration, the new Chairman of the Federal Confusion Commission and both newly elected majorities in both Houses of Congress are doing (some of) the things they all promised.  It is also important to note that almost all (because I couldn’t find any major company saying anything different) big ISPs promise to keep things as they are: That is, no (or almost no) selling of user data anyway without opting in.

So, is all of this brouhaha a false issue?  I’d say no. I’d say it is serious. Not because it puts the companies with significant access to data in the position of knowing too much. They already do. But because it is the death of your right to privacy.  Individual, collective or corporate … the government now says your data belongs to whomever or whatever it passes through.

In short: Privacy is so yesterday, at least in this great, “free” nation of ours. So get used to it. And use a VPN with all of your devices.

Random Notes

The first state to jump in and look at making its own privacy rules is Minnesota.  The Minnesota Senate wants to write its own rules for privacy.  Which other states might follow? And will our revered Twitter-in-chief be tweeting about it?

There’s a neat Fortune Unfiltered with Aaron Taskpodcast interviewing Kay Koplovitz … founder of USA Network and all around great person. Find it here.

So Comcast will launch X-finity Instant TV in the 3rd Quarter.  A real skinny bundle that has a built in advantage within the company’s footprint: local station deals.  I wonder how long before it is available everywhere?  Maybe beginning with that MVNO?  Or with all of that spectrum they acquired?

Nice move by the guys who carefully built Alaska communications company GCI … Liberty Interactive will be acquiring them for $1.1B.

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