Wallace sponsors ban on Internet companies selling data

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – An Assembly bill aimed at giving consumers the power to say no to ISPs when it comes to personal information use is making its way through the capital.

Assembly Member Monica Wallace is sponsoring Assembly bill A07191.  It prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information by an internet service provider without the express written approval of the customer.

Wallace says she introduced the bill after federal legislation reversed the FCC proposed rule that would have required consent over use of customer data by ISPs.

“This legislation will protect the sensitive information of New York families from being collected and sold to the highest bidder without their consent,” said Wallace. “Absent legislative action by our state, ISPs will be able to collect and sell information about the web searches you preform, the websites you visit, and the apps you use. We cannot allow ISPs to disclose such deeply personal information for commercial gain without our consent.”

The proposal would require a customer’s consent in order to share or use personal information which would include browsing history, financial information, communication content, usage, biographical information and other data that is specific to an individual consumer. It would also allow customers to opt out of the sharing of non-personal, aggregated information that is shared by the ISP.

The bill is co-sponsored by 17 other Assembly Members, Ken Zebrowski a democrat from New City says, “The State needs to act now to protect consumers from what is essentially an invasion of privacy from their internet provider.”

“When we pay for a service such as internet access, we expect that they are acting in the best interest of the customer not using our information to make a profit. Our browsing history, financial information, medical data, or any other deeply personal data should remain private and at the very least require consent,” added Zebrowaki.

The bill was referred to the Assembly’s Consumer Affairs and Protection committee.

A similar bill, S5516, was introduced by State Senator Timothy Kennedy and is in front of the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee.

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