The Price For Privacy Protection


Andrew Hackworth, Staff Writer

Privacy and the control of information is a difficult issue when it comes to the internet. Anyone can find anything that they want, whether or not that comes at the detriment of others. Big corporations have realized this, and they’re looking to collect information on you that could help them target you for their advertisements. They can use your search history, your location, any and all information about you that can help them sell you their products, whether you want them to know it or not.
This is why it’s important to have privacy protection. This is why it’s important for internet service providers to protect users by keeping their internet usage secret and safe. This is why it’s important for us to be as careful as we can in regards to giving out information. However, there is only so much we can limit ourselves to that. With the increasing popularity of social media and online shopping, it becomes somewhat necessary to dole out some information about ourselves to keep up with the growing reliance on the internet.
That’s what makes this recently signed bill so controversial and downright hated by some. On Monday, Donald Trump signed a bill that repealed internet privacy rules set by the FCC last year. The rules required companies to get permission from users before they could sell your information to the highest bidder, namely advertisers.
The decision to pass this bill has left most people with a bad taste in their mouths. Craig Aron, CEO of Free Press, an advocacy group for more open and free sharing of information and communication, weighs in on the bill. “It’s shocking that of all the challenges facing this country the Trump administration would prioritize taking away people’s privacy. There is literally no public support for this bill. Its only advocates are the nation’s biggest phone, cable, and Internet companies.”
Based on the donations that Republicans in Congress received, it might seem that this is true. Many Republican representatives in both the House and Congress received four, five, even six figure donations from major telecommunications companies. Even Tennessee’s own Congressmen, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, received around $86,000 and $43,000 respectively.
As is the case with most every young person nowadays, Bailey Fritz (11) uses the internet a lot in her day to day life, so hearing about this bill has caused much frustration.
“I think it shows how much politics is influenced by money and not by the opinions of the actual people.” In her unhappiness, Fritz gives a message to our representatives who voted on the bill. “I would like to tell them that they are being hypocritical and corrupt for doing this for themselves and not thinking about the people.”
When it comes to politics, money is often an ulterior motive for what our politicians do. However, in this case, it seems to be the only motive. It’s frustrating and disheartening to know that our Congressmen would be willing to sell out our personal information for a cheap buck. It’s even more frustrating to think that our own president would be willing to do the same.