In 2018, we all came across many hashtags and long posts about net neutrality and how to stop it from being repealed. Social media was concerned with the privacy factor that would be implied as a result. However, a lot of us lacked proper information about net neutrality and why the hype around the topic was created.
Understanding Net Neutrality
With the obvious advancement in technology, the government has now the responsibility or control to regulate content. On the other hand, net neutrality means that online traffic will be treated the same by internet service providers without censoring any content. This means that just like any other utility considered important for survival, freedom, and privacy for the internet would be equally provided without challenging its premises.
On the other hand, FCC ruled out that belief by stating that net neutrality is not so much a public utility. Besides affecting online business transactions, repealing net neutrality also impacts the use of the internet by the general public.
Net Neutrality Affects Privacy
The use of technology and the internet has always come with the promise of privacy to some extent for the users. However, repealing the net neutrality can also take away privacy. During the time of Obama’s presidency, net neutrality was a given factor that meant that users were not vulnerable to threats like hinging on privacy rights.
However, there is not a provision applied called Title II which called for compliance with consumers’ privacy rules. Naturally, this means that the privacy of users is compromised under the Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Any of the internet service providers that you use can easily control the content that you will access. Moreover, they can even record your activity by saving which websites you access and how often do you use them.
Along with this, since the ISPs will be charging per package instead of a one-off bill that you have to pay, you might have to opt for a package that mentions adult content specifically. This simply means that users can be generalized into categories including ‘porn users’. This control is not limited to adult content but political affiliations too.
An internet service provider can decide to charge differently for liberal or conservative content. This can leave the users vulnerable to being identified or affiliated with a certain political stance. In other words, to some extent, net neutrality can certainly interfere with the privacy of the users.
The Final Verdict
While many people including activists believe that the ISPs should not be given this power over the users’ activity on the net, others don’t find it to be an abomination of rights. Business owners believe that the use of technology offers many alternatives. If one ISP tampers, the others might not and increase the business for the alternative. This is simply a matter of business for everyone. You can definitely learn more about internet service providers meddle with the content and to which extent in order to ensure a provider that is less interfering.