Privacy & Security 2 min. read

The much-needed Internet Bill of Rights is finally here

The much-needed Internet Bill of Rights is finally here

There are probably few people in the U.S. that think more shouldn’t be done to protect our online privacy, especially after Facebook’s recent hacking and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, all of which exposed a collective 135 million user’s data.

For some time now, many have called for an Internet Bill of Rights—a list of principles that cover important topics such as privacy, net neutrality, and discrimination. And for the past six months, under the instruction of Nancy Pelosi, that’s exactly what Congressman Ro Khanna has been working on.

The bill, revealed by the New York Times today, leaves quite a bit to subjective interpretation, but it is absolutely a step in the right direction. As it stands, the tech industry mostly operates in an unregulated corner. Our data has become currency, and all too regularly it gets exploited for corporate gain. This bill would provide basic guidelines and responsibilities that corporations must follow.

You can read Congressman Khanna’s proposed bill in its entirety below:

Set of Principles for an Internet Bill of Rights

The internet age and digital revolution have changed Americans’ way of life. As our lives and the U.S. economy are more tied to the internet, it is essential to provide Americans with basic protections online.
You should have the right:
(1) to have access to and knowledge of all collection and uses of personal data by companies;
(2) to opt-in consent to the collection of personal data by any party and to the sharing of personal data with a third party;
(3) where context appropriate and with a fair process, to obtain, correct or delete personal data controlled by any company and to have those requests honored by third parties;
(4) to have personal data secured and to be notified in a timely manner when a security breach or unauthorized access of personal data is discovered;
(5) to move all personal data from one network to the next;
(6) to access and use the internet without internet service providers blocking, throttling, engaging in paid prioritization or otherwise unfairly favoring content, applications, services or devices;
(7) to internet service without the collection of data that is unnecessary for providing the requested service absent opt-in consent;
(8) to have access to multiple viable, affordable internet platforms, services and providers with clear and transparent pricing;
(9) not to be unfairly discriminated against or exploited based on your personal data; and
(10) to have an entity that collects your personal data have reasonable business practices and accountability to protect your privacy.

Whether you’re red or blue, it’s difficult to argue against the intention behind these points. We can likely all agree that citizens should have control over information collected about them, and that we should not be discriminated against based on that personal data. We probably all concur that Internet Service Providers should not be permitted to block, throttle, or engage in paid prioritization that would negatively impact our ability to access the world’s information. And I’m sure we all want access to numerous affordable Internet providers with clear and transparent pricing.

The challenge now, of course, is making this bill a reality: “This is a 15-year fight, but I do not think tech is immediately primed against it and Congress is more willing to be strong on regulation,” Congressman Khanna told the New York Times. “Tech is amoral — it is great in many ways but not as great in others, and they need to now spend the next 10 years thinking about how they shape that tech for public good.”

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