I typically don’t delve into the political arena so I will keep this one short and sweet. HR 230 passed the House of Representatives yesterday by a fairly comfortable margin.
For the most part, nothing has really changed when it comes to selling data. Everything is still completely anonymous (advertisers can’t see that Bob Smith was watching prank videos on YouTube), meaning they only receive generalized metadata (this person is likely a male aged 18-35). The part that gets me is that you no longer have a choice whether or not to participate in getting your information shared.
If you have anything Google related, this already happens to you, but you have a choice to use Google, or Gmail, YouTube, etc. Totally understandable, they provide a service for free, in return they are going to use metadata collected from you. ISPs are already charging you to use their service and many times they are the only service in town. You’re basically forced to use them to get on the internet, and they collect even more metadata on you than other websites since others are limited to gathering data only when you visit them.
Anyway, I decided to take a look at the Telecom industry political contribution numbers and a very non-surprising result comes up:
The average contribution to co-sponsors was three times higher than the contributions made by the telecom industry to non-co-sponsors.
Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana wins the contribution race with $98,600 received from telecoms in 2016. The average contribution to co-sponsors of the bill was a bit over $51,000 while the average non-sponsor contribution was $16,180.
I’m just going to leave it at that.