Have you ever posted something online without thinking about the repercussions that may form from the post? Well this week in FYS142, the topics that we discussed were net neutrality and privacy of users with their information online. Before going into this past week’s classes, I had no idea what net neutrality was and I knew the very basics of privacy settings that I could set on social media apps. In high school, I went to a seminar on how to protect my privacy on social media apps, but the speaker just explained to me how to make my accounts private to those that were not friends with me and to delete my cookies from time to time. In addition, I knew that Google took into account what I have researched through their browser and created specific adds that would pop up in my gmail that related to them.
The first article that I found is “The Uncertain Future of Internet Privacy.” The article was posted fairly recently and goes over some of the upcoming changes in Internet privacy that have occurred. For example, in the final days of the Obama administration, there were new privacy protections that were approved and were going to be put into place. Internet providers explained these new terms that the Obama administration agreed to as “you are just going to bring down the entire Internet.” The new terms created an atmosphere that would make it harder for big name companies to create a profit off of user data. However, it is mentioned that the Trump administration repealed the new Internet privacy protection laws that have not taken effect. This relates to our discussion in class because we discussed how this approach is more business friendly taking into account the needs of big companies and their future gain rather then the future gain of the people.
The second article that I found is “Trump’s FCC may try to roll back net neutrality. Here’s why that matters”. Net neutrality is what prevents “Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.” An example of this would be in 2014 when Comcast slowed down streaming speeds to users for Netflix. Netflix had to agree to terms and payoff Comcast so that the streaming speeds would be increased to the original speeds or even higher then it was previously. If net neutrality is lessened, that could possibly lead to other companies taking advantage and potentially allowing “its own video content to load faster than competing content”. Another example of this would be AT&T advertising the DirectTV video service has no effect on the users data limits.
As a whole, there are many questions that go along with where net neutrality may be ending up. I believe that net neutrality is great because it creates an equal playing field for all companies that are trying to reach consumers. Without net neutrality, big companies will take advantage and it will become a complete anarchy with what will have good and bad streaming speeds depending on the company. What do you believe should happen with net neutrality? Should there be more rules that are put in place or not?