How will repeal of internet privacy protections affect you?

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(Source: Nupean Pruprong via 123RF) (Source: Nupean Pruprong via 123RF)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a measure repealing internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission as the Obama administration drew to a close. That measure, which was approved by the House Tuesday, was put forth by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

So, what does that mean for you? If you do not want your personal information to be sold, you will have to contact your internet service provider. And it might cost you.

The new administration says it "strongly supports" blocking internet privacy protections approved under the Obama administration, but privacy experts and civil rights activists warn this is a bad deal.

[RELATED: Congress just killed your internet privacy protections]

[READ MORE: AP explains: What the death of broadband privacy rules means for you]

Those protections, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing data like browsing history, app usage and geo-location. They also would have had to notify users about the kinds information they collect.

Democrats say the with the repeal, your personal information is available to the highest bidder.

“It’s very dangerous,” Steve Kilar of the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.

He said that without those online protections your personal data can be sold to the government, which can use it to gather information about you without a search warrant.

“There nothing barring that internet service provider from selling that information directly to the government and that's a real problem that the government can get around the requirements,” Kilar explained.

Service providers can collect, store and sell all kinds of revealing information about you – everything from your buying habits to details about your health and finances.

K Royal, a “privacy professional” according to her LinkedIn profile, warns Congress that there are not enough protections.

"Everything you do on your computer online goes through your service provider so they have everything you do,” she said.

Flake said there are still protections in place.

"You can still opt out,” he said. “You can always opt out by contacting the internet service provider and saying you don't want your data to be sold."

Royal, an attorney and adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law who goes by @heartofprivacy on Twitter, said few people know that that they can opt out.

"Here in the U.S., we really are the wild Wild West when it comes to use of digital information.”

Flake’s measure passed along party lines. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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