Your browsing history, location data could soon be for sale

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Like it or not, your Internet browsing history and location information could soon be sold to the highest bidder.

Privacy advocates say it’s an invasion of privacy, but supporters in the Senate disagree.

The Senate voted to undo privacy regulations that would have banned internet, cable, and mobile providers from selling your browsing history to advertisers without first getting your permission.

Bill Hensley of Westfield told 22News, he doesn’t think that should be allowed. “That’s a shame, because I really think permission should be needed for that type of information gathering,” he said.

Supporters of the bill argue that forcing Internet providers to ask your permission before they collect your information puts them at an unfair advantage to websites like Google and Facebook, which track your information when you share or search.

However, privacy advocates say there’s one major difference, broadband providers would be able to see every website you visit, every email you send, and every message you read. Austin Monaghan told 22News that’s an even bigger invasion of privacy than the tracking that individual websites do. “Everything in that should be private, everything you browse, everything you look at. Nobody should have the right to know what you’re looking at or what you’re doing on your computer, that’s your own business. They should easily have to ask our permission,” he said.

The measure would still need to clear the House and be signed by President Donald Trump before it becomes law.