Safeguarding Internet Privacy in Service to the Public

Unfortunately, we can expect these threats to escalate in the wake of the recent decision by Congress and the President to repeal the Federal Communication Commission’s internet privacy rules, which would have placed limits on how internet service companies can use sensitive personal data, including browsing history, geolocation, and financial and medical information.

To use the internet, we need these companies to connect us to websites, complete our calls and deliver our text messages. They should not be able to exploit this gatekeeper position to collect and sell information about our consumer habits, health conditions and political views, especially without even letting us know what they are doing. Yet this is precisely what the federal government has just enabled.

I responded to the recent decision in a joint statement with DoITT Commissioner, Anne Roest, and promptly received high-fives and praise.

Amazon’s Steve Sarner responds to my tweet

Despite these threats, I believe the answer is not to discourage internet adoption, but rather to double down on our efforts to safeguard and empower our communities. Which is why we have launched two new partnerships to empower the public with the knowledge and skills to protect their online privacy and data security.

The City, in partnership with our libraries, will support residents throughout all five boroughs who have questions about how to use the internet safely and securely.