By Thomas Lenard
Published in The Hill on August 16, 2016
Broadband service plans that offer discounts to subscribers who permit their internet service provider (ISP) to use their browsing behavior to deliver targeted advertising have become the latest issue for privacy advocates. Seven senators, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), recently urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prohibit such “pay-for-privacy” plans, arguing that they “disproportionately harm low-income consumers, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations.”
In fact, the opposite is true: “Pay-for-privacy” plans disproportionately benefit lower-income individuals. Indeed, the notion that offering an additional option would be detrimental to any consumers, whatever their income, is misguided.
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