Congress Just Made It Harder for You to Shield Yourself From Internet Discrimination

Did you spend eight hours binge-watching Netflix last night? Or did you search the Internet to read about birth control options, find a new church, or research ways to get involved with your local political party? If so, there’s an important fact you should know: Information about the websites you visited or the time you spent using certain apps is not as private as you think. And that’s not good news if you want to protect yourself against discrimination.

On Tuesday, in a vote with strong Democratic opposition, Congress passed a resolution to undo Federal Communications Commission (FCC) privacy rules issued under the Obama administration late last year that would have protected this sensitive information. Internet service providers (ISP) oppose these rules for a very simple reason: There is a lot of money to be made in selling consumers’ data. As a result, the industry has spent millions lobbying Congress to oppose the protections. The Trump administration’s support of the measure means it is almost certain to become law.