Many people realize Web services like Facebook or Google are monitoring their activities and security is not guaranteed, but companies also collect data in less obvious ways. Large websites and smaller businesses running smartphone apps do everything they can to collect information to tailor advertising or sell it to third parties interested in doing the same.
The Federal Communications Commission in the United states FCC has been pushing through rules requiring internet service providers to disclose in plain language how consumer data is collected, how it’s shared with third parties and how it’s used by outside firms. The rules also set specific requirements for companies to report security breaches to consumers.
FCC has put the data security provision on hold. The data security provision was part of a bigger set of privacy regulations approved by the FCC in October designed to protect sensitive personal information online. In addition to dealing with breaches, the new rules would limit what companies can do with the personal data they collect about consumers.
The rules also prohibit broadband providers from sharing your information, such as your name, location or online activity, with third parties without your consent. However, the FCC is still in charge of protecting privacy for wireless and broadband customers. And it will continue to look at privacy concerns on a case-by-case basis.