A Senate vote today threatens to devalue all publisher 1st party data by allowing broadband companies to capture and sell full online records of their customers without permission. This would mean that financial info, passwords, transaction data and even social security numbers used on publisher sites could be captured and monetized by companies like Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and others by the back door – with neither the website visitor or publisher being aware.
This unravelling of existing FFC rules is being rushed through Congress by a group of Republican Senators who have received big donations from major broadband companies and associated trade groups. The fact that nobody else seems to support the bill may explain why it is being hurried to a vote this week while the whole world is distracted by healthcare, Trump and Russian-related wiretapping.
The importance of this to the affiliate marketing community can ot be overstated. This is a situation in which billlion-dollar companies are buying political influence in order to appropriate the assets of the small- and medium-sized businesses that make up our industry. Visitor data is the foundation of every online business. Allow someone else to aggregate it and sell it the highest bidder and there isn’t much left that is of value.
If you have a blog, imagine someone selling an email ist of all your registered visitors to your competitior. Or as a merchant, knowing that a major retailer was able to buy your customer list off Verizon. This is what this bill is intended to achieve.