By Mark Hallum
State Assembly members are hoping to protect New Yorkers from exploitation after the passage of a law repealing Federal Communications Commission regulations. President Donald Trump signed the bill, allowing giant broadband corporations to sell the private information of their customers, including their browsing history.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) is backing A7191 in a bid to prevent this from happening to her constituents. The state bill would require Internet Service Providers to gain the permission of customers before monetizing their data, which could include app usage, device location and financial information.
“With the stroke of a pen, the president – after Congress voted in approval – has stripped Americans of internet privacy rights by repealing federal regulations intended to protect consumers and our deeply personal information,” said Rozic. “This new law shows a blatant disregard for citizens’ rights to privacy that gives service providers the upper-hand in profiting off selling our online data.”
The original law blocking ISPs from selling data pertaining to the internet activity of their customers was passed under the Obama administration in October, but had yet to take effect before the newly Republican-held Congress overturned it with new legislation signed into effect by Trump.
According to Rozic, the regulations signed by Obama would have offered the strongest protections for consumers of its kind.
Under the Assembly’s bill, ISPs with customers in New York would be forced to obtain written consent from customers before any transaction regarding their data took place to prevent any possible risk which could come from unrestricted sharing of information.
Also co-sponsoring the bill are Assembly members Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing), Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens), Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach), and multi-sponsor Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica).
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall