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Worried about bill blocking online privacy regulation? Here's what you need to know

Worried about bill blocking online privacy regulation? Here's what you need to know

President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that would eventually allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits.

But what does it mean for your browsing privacy?

CBS21 News' Brandi Proctor spoke to the experts who say you do not have to be alarmed, but a little caution never hurt.

Browsing the internet is an every day thing for many people these days. More than 280 million people in the United States use the world wide web.

A new law signed by the president Monday night could change how the information you look for is collected.

Read More: Trump signs bill blocking online privacy regulation


The bill gets ride of the online privacy regulation that was issued by the Federal Communications Commission last year that gave consumers more control over how companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T share information with advertisers.

"So, a lot of their information was already out there, but ISP, internet service providers, were not able to collect or market on that information. This changes that, Charles Palmer with Harrisburg University explained.

Now, companies will be able to collect data, like when you browse, what you search for and where you search for it. But all of the information collected is supposed to remain anonymous.

READ MORE: Your online browsing history could be sold to advertisers if Obama-era order is blocked


It seems like some of these sales tactics are already in place. If you search for a pair of shows on Amazon, it is not uncommon to see them pop-up on your Facebook feed later.

"The issue is Facebook and Google already had access to do some of this. On Facebook and Google, I can always go in and opt out. There are various way I can go in and say my information should not be sent to other marketers. Now, you can't go in and do that," Palmer explained

If you are worried about companies having access to sensitive information, there are some steps you can take.

While experts say there is not a reason for you to panic, you should still proceed with caution, especially on a shared network.

Dr. Palmer explained another big issue is choice. If you're not happy with a grocery store, you can go somewhere else. But there are not many internet providers.

So, as a consumer, you do not have many options. He says, hopefully, consumers may also see some type of incentive in the future for allowing this information to be collected.

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