Death of Net Neutrality Will Spur Greater Loss of Digital Privacy, Further Content Consolidation & Control

Jeff Chester | Dec 15 2017
Statement of Jeff Chester, CDD

The phone and cable lobby will use its new power over the Internet to further erode the privacy rights of Americans.  Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon will be entirely free to tap into the data flowing from our mobile devices, PCs, gaming and streaming platforms and set-top boxes.  These ISP giants have already built up a formidable commercial data gathering and Big Data analytics infrastructure.  Now they will expand their gathering of our personal information, inc. financial, health, media use, and also force competitors to share the data they collect.   If you want ISPs to give you preferential treatment, content providers will be forced to give up your data, so phone and cable can further expand their ad revenues.  Independent and small content companies—including non-commercial and diversely-owned services—will be pressed to consent to terms that favor the digital gatekeepers that control our broadband highway.  The FCC’s Net Neutrality decision will trigger a powerful wave of consolidation and deal making that further reduces the range of content and services we should expect in the 21st Century (including for children).  We also believe that Google, Facebook and other providers will likely make their peace with the big ISPs, creating a powerful alliance that controls the U.S.’s digital destiny.

CDD will be a part of the collaborative work to address this.  We urge everyone to also “follow the data” as they examine the digital marketing plans of Verizon, Comcast and AT&T.  There they will find plenty of opportunity to educate the public about our digital future has been placed at great risk.

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