How Will the Change in Internet Privacy Laws Affect the WWW in the Distant Future?

At this point we’ve been all around the topic of how our Internet privacy will be affected after the change in the law last month. The House and the Senate in the U.S. voted to give Internet service providers the right to sell and share our web-bowsing data … without our consent. What we haven’t talked about, though, is what effect it will have on computing in the distant future. We asked our writers, “How will the change in Internet privacy laws affect the WWW in the distant future?”

Our writers all have differing opinions on this matter.

Trevor “sadly” doesn’t think there will be much effect on the Internet as a whole. “There will be a lo of talk, but not many end users will change anything.” Fabio agrees. He thinks “everything will stay the same.”

Derrik notes that with the new law, “the U.S. Government is allowing ISPs to triple dip.” Not only do they get to charge for a subscription, but “they get to push advertising on you via their own DNS or something.” And in addition to that, Derrik believes they’ll “harvest all traffic and sell it.” He doesn’t think consumers have any idea how valuable their data is.

In the process he believes it will “slowly erode the free and openness of the Web unless there is a backlash on the effort to monetize everything possible.” He figures it’s only a matter of time before the FCC is for sale like Congress and that we”ll no longer have any sort of net neutrality.

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Alex belives this will “give advertisers the upper hand, allowing for more precise targeting and more invasive content.” He thinks everyone should be “creeped out.”

Ryan believes “the amount of bad press this issue has received will ultimately influence websites/companies to include disclosures about how they will or won’t use your data.” He believes that users may even have the ability to opt out of data collection, depending on how negative the public’s reaction is. And in the meantime, “VPN providers will pop up like weeds, making it more difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.”

I think this is all going to indelibly change the WWW in the future. This was taking away a law that was previously passed just a few months ago and wasn’t even enacted yet. And while it may seem that this newer law is just canceling out the other law, people didn’t realize what they stood to lose until now.

This isn’t just setting everything back to where it was a few months ago. It’s now making people panic thinking about what could be shared without their knowledge and making companies realize what they could be gaining. I think it’s going to make users make different choices and lead to companies taking more than they thought to take to begin with.

Do you agree with any of our writers? Do you think things will stay the same? Or are you predicting great change? How will the change in Internet privacy laws affect the WWW in the distant future? Join our conversation in the comments below, and let us know your thoughts.

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