Internet privacy against ISPs; How to protect your data from internet providers

By Ryan Dawn Umadhay / 2017.03.31
A participant sits with a laptop computer as he attends the annual Chaos Communication Congress of the Chaos Computer Club at the Berlin Congress Center on December 28, 2010 in Berlin, Germany.

The US Congress recently reversed the Obama-era resolution of protecting user data from their ISPs and that got everyone concerned about their privacy. While there is no solid solution, there are small steps that could protect an online user's privacy and prevent ISPs from selling user information.

Browser Based Protection

According to Wired, the congress and senate have already voted to allow ISPs from selling online activities of their customers. That's bad news not just for those who wanted to protect their privacy and for everyone really. Worse, FCC is also barred from making rules that could counter the latest ruling.

So the consumers are left on their own to protect their privacy. What could every sensible consumer do?

There are really simple privacy protection practices everyone could do and it all starts with a browser. Two browsers are well known for protecting user information: Opera and TOR. Opera's claim to fame: a build-in VPN with versions for Android and iOS according to Life Hacker. TOR on the other hand is well known for routing the data log to different servers worldwide but some sites block TOR because of this practice.

Opting Out of User Tracking

Until President Trump signs the bill into law, ISPs are still hands-off from user information. When the time comes, there is a provision that may prevent the ISPs from keeping data logs of their select consumers. Users could actually opt out of any form of tracking from their internet provider.

But here's the bad news: no one knows yet the rules and restrictions on when and how to opt out. Each service providers have their respective practices on how to deal with consumer data and this means no single process will be followed in opting out of being tracked.

Browser protection and VPN could help users protect their data. But it's also important to be wary of the internet providers' practices on how they collect information and how to opt out of their data gathering.

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