Consumer Reports Supports the Montana Broadband Privacy Bill

Consumer Reports submitted this letter to the Montana House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 457: The Internet Access Service Customer Privacy Act.

HB 457 would give all Montanans important privacy protections for the information they share with their internet service provider (ISP). Because all of an individual’s online activities flow through them, ISPs have access to enormous amounts of highly personal and business data, and they can see nearly everywhere their customers go online and what they do.

Some of the personal information that ISPs have access to includes:

  • geolocation data, which can be used to determine precisely where you live and travel to, and when;
  • details about your health and financial status;
  • your web browsing and app usage history; and
  • your Social Security number.

ISPs have the ability to assemble a detailed and highly personal dossier of your life. Communications with doctors or lawyers, political activities, job inquiries, dating site history—essentially anything you do or express on the internet that you would like to keep private, could all be examined and used by your ISP.

Consumers have no choice but to use an ISP to access the internet and thus share personal data with that provider.

Therefore, we urge the Montana House Judiciary Committee to protect the privacy of their constituents, as well as their own, by voting in favor of HB 457.