Letter to NYC City Council on Broadband Privacy Bill
The New York Civil Liberties Union joined partner organizations in a letter to New York City Council members urging the passage of Intro. 1101, a bill that would establish meaningful privacy protections for cable broadband subscribers.
The proposed legislation would require cable broadband providers to obtain consent from customers before they collect, use, and disclose personal information, and give consumers the right to access and delete the data collected on them. The bill would further mandate regular reporting, require timely notifications in case of data breaches, and provide mechanisms for customers and the City to hold companies accountable for violations.
Currently, internet service providers can track and sell user data without any notice or consent. Unbeknownst to customers, their browsing activities generate data that can make them the subjects of intrusive analysis and produce valuable information that ISPs can turn into profit. The bulk of one’s web activity collected and analyzed can disclose sensitive information such as age, gender, race, profession, education, socioeconomic status, banking details, political activities, sexual orientation, recreational interests, religious beliefs, personal relationships, health condition, substance use, presence at home, and travel plans. The inferences that can be drawn from invasive and non-consensual online tracking can lead to discrimination and increase inequality through digital redlining, predatory marketing, and socioeconomic exclusion.
Intro. 1101 would be a first step toward protecting New Yorkers from pervasive surveillance of their online activities.