[CNet] How the government plans to protect your privacy from ISPs (FAQ)

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The [Federal Communications Commission] voted this week on a proposal for rules that will govern how broadband and wireless providers handle your personal online data. […]

The new rules prohibit broadband providers from sharing your information, such as your name, location or online activity, with third parties without your consent. It’s meant to provide the same kind of protection offered to telephone customers.

The rules would also require broadband and wireless providers to disclose in plain language how consumer data is collected, how it’s shared with third parties and how it’s used by outside firms. The plan also calls for broadband companies to strengthen security practices for customer data. […]

The rules only cover broadband and wireless service providers. But online companies, such as Facebook or Google, or device makers, such as Apple, are excluded from the rules. That means these companies are still able to collect data about your location and Internet surfing habits and sell it to advertisers or other third parties. […]

The vote on Thursday was just the beginning of the process. The FCC opened up its proposal for public comment. Then there will be another period to comment on the comments. And finally, the agency will draft its final rules, which the agency will vote on. The whole process could take six months or longer. […]