Broadband Privacy - FAQs
1. Does ASTAC sell my sensitive personal information, like financial information and Social Security numbers?
ASTAC does not track or monitor its subscribers’ internet usage, nor does it sell customer’s sensitive personal information.
It is illegal to sell or share consumers’ sensitive personal information. Additionally, ISPs have publicly recommitted to following privacy practices modeled after the FTC's well-tested approach, which governs only privacy for the rest of the Internet ecosystem. Those principles specifically prohibit sharing "sensitive" info, such as precise geolocation data, unless customers have submitted an "opt-in" form. Health and children's data also are protected under additional federal laws that remain fully in force. There's also existing privacy law at the FCC (Section 222 of the Communications Act) which remains in effect.
2. When Congress rejected ISP-only rules through the Congressional Review Act, did consumers lose privacy protections over their data?
No. Since the rules never took effect, consumers haven't lost anything. Congress rejected uneven rules that would have created separate and unequal only privacy regimes. This directly goes against consumers' strong belief that there should be one high standard for consumer protections across the entire Internet.
3. Can someone buy my sensitive personal information such as Social Security number?
Not from ASTAC they can’t. It is illegal for an ISP or anyone else to sell such sensitive information to the public.
4. Does ASTAC know more about my online behavior than other online companies?
No, ASTAC does not know more about your online behavior than other companies. Thanks to wide use of encryption technologies, ISPs only know which websites subscribers might be visiting, not the content of those sites. A study last year by a privacy expert who served in the Obama and Clinton administrations found that ISP access to customer data was neither comprehensive nor unique since social networks or ad networks have far more visibility into what consumers are looking at online.
5. Can I opt-out of allowing their ASTAC to share their browsing data for online marketing purposes?
Yes, consistent with the rest of the Internet ecosystem, ASTAC (along with all major ISPs) allows subscribers to "opt out" of practices that would allow providers to collect and share their non-sensitive data for marketing purposes.