As of May 24th, companies with franchise agreements allowing them to operate in the city must obtain customer permission to sell personal data or browsing histories.
The three companies operating in Seattle are Comcast, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband.
Opting In vs. Opting Out
In Seattle, the rule will require customers to opt-in to allow companies to collect and sell their data, unlike the usual situation – opting out to refrain.
“We felt that an opt-out process was insufficient,” said Michael Mattmiller, the city’s chief technology officer. “Consumers are too busy to somehow learn through the fine print that your web usage is being mined or sold.”