Rozic Sponsors Legislation Pushing Back Against New Federal Law Repealing Internet Privacy Protections

Bill would ensure New Yorkers’ right to privacy remains protected by prohibiting broadband from selling data without consumers’ permission
May 8, 2017

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) announced today her support of legislation (A7191) introduced in response to action taken by United States Congress repealing internet privacy protections. The bill would provide protections for New Yorkers by requiring that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) not sell consumer information without seeking and being granted permission to do so.

“With the stroke of a pen, the President — after Congress voted in approval — has stripped Americans of internet privacy rights by repealing federal regulations intended to protect consumers and our deeply personal information,” said Rozic. “This new law shows a blatant disregard for citizens’ rights to privacy that gives service providers the upper-hand in profiting off selling our online data.”

The new law overturns regulations that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would have required broadband companies like Comcast, Verizon, and Charter to gain permission from consumers before selling their personal data. The regulations were approved by the FCC in October of last year and had yet to take effect. This would have been the strongest protection, empowering consumers to have greater control over the sharing of their personal information.

The Rozic-backed bill would ensure that the privacy rights of New Yorkers remain protected. Without such protections, ISPs would be legally able to track and sell consumers’ online data that includes browsing history, app usage, and location and financial information. Rozic added that this bill is critical not only in preventing service providers from making commercial gains off selling their customers’ data, but also in protecting consumers from the risks that come with the unrestricted sharing of such personal information.

If enacted, ISPs with customers in New York would be prohibited from disclosing their personal information, unless they have obtained written consent from the consumer. The bill outlines exceptions in which service providers would be allowed to disclose personal information during the course of a criminal investigation.