AT&T, Comcast and Verizon released statements on Friday to the effect that they will not sell the individual internet browsing data of their customers. This is coming in the wake of the massive backlash from the general public and privacy groups after Congress approved legislation to repeal internet privacy rules from the Obama administration.
In October 2016, regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), required internet service providers (ISPs) to take greater measures to protect the privacy of their customers.
“AT&T’s privacy protections are the same today as they were five months ago when the FCC rules were adopted,” said AT&T’s Bob Quinn. “We had the same protections in place the day before the Congressional resolution was passed, and we will have the same protections the day after President Trump signs the CRA into law. The Congressional action had zero effect on the privacy protections afforded to consumers.”
“There’s been a lot of attention and questions about consumer privacy in recent days,” said Gerard Lewis, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, at Comcast. “At Comcast, we respect and protect our customers’ personal information. Always have, always will. We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so.”
FCC’s rules would have compelled ISPs to obtain permission from customers before using or sharing data, such as browsing history.