Is your internet service provider looking at your web browsing history?

Good Morning Utah

Congress has put a halt to some new FCC rules that apply to internet service providers. Robert Jorgensen, cybersecurity expert from UVU, joined GMU with details on the changes. Congress’ action reclassified how ISPs can treat data. Congress did this through an rarely-used procedural method that allows them to disapprove regulations.

Originally, the FCC wanted to treat ISPs as telecom carriers and subject customer data to additional protection. As connected as we all are, internet service providers have an unprecedented view into what we do. This information is very valuable to marketers and advertisers. 

But can your internet service provider see what you are doing? Robert says it depends.  If you are using as site that has HTTPS (the little lock), they can’t view which content you are viewing, but they still can know which site you are visiting.

Some have suggested using VPNs for privacy. Robert said a VPN is a virtual private network. Usually, they are used to connect remote users to a corporate network safely by using encryption. You can also use this to encrypt your traffic from your computer to the VPN provider so your ISP can’t see it. In that case, instead of your ISP viewing the data, it is your VPN provider.
Robert says that overall it’s important to be an informed consumer. Make sure you know what your ISP is doing with your information. 

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