Republicans in DC are selling your privacy to the highest bidder -- we need to protect you and your family

Republicans in Congress have passed legislation doing away with internet privacy protections the FCC put in place last year.


The vote means internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T can collect, store and share your sensitive online data like Social Security numbers, health information or children's information without your consent. It also eliminates the rule that required internet service providers to inform you when a data breach occurs and your private information may be compromised. 


Internet service providers want to change the rules in the middle of the game, and Republicans in Congress just voted to let them. Government is supposed to work for and protect you and your family, not the big companies that want to exploit your personal information and online activity for private profit.


The legislature needs to put the FCC protections Congress just eliminated into state law here in Pennsylvania so we can protect our consumers in light of Washington's failure.


Internet Service Providers are your on-ramp to the information superhighway. This allows them to gain access to your personal information -- some of it very sensitive. You should be in the driver's seat -- and at the very least in the know -- when these companies use that information to make a profit.


To protect you and your family, we should:


  • Require internet service providers to notify you about what types of information they collect, how and for what purposes they shares your information, and with whom.

  • Require internet service providers to obtain your "opt-in" before they can store, share or sell any of your sensitive information, such location, children's information, health information, financial information, Social Security number, Web browsing history, app usage history and the content of communications.

  • Require internet service providers to let you opt out of the sharing of your non-sensitive information.

  • Prohibit internet service providers from denying you service if you opt out of the storing or sharing of your information for commercial purposes.

  • Require internet service providers to use best practices to maintain and strengthen protection of your online information.

  • Require internet service providers to notify you in a timely manner when a data breach occurs and your sensitive information may have be compromised.

Internet service providers should have the flexibility they need to innovate and improve their services. Many consumers like how online ads and product offers can now be targeted to them based on their browsing habits.


But this doesn't mean we don't have an obligation to keep your personal information protected, or to give you the final say in how that information is shared or sold.


Republicans in Washington are selling your privacy to the highest bidder. It's going to be up to Pennsylvania to restore your privacy protections and make sure government is working for you, not the corporate CEOs and their high-priced lobbyists.