Responding to the U.S. government’s recent repeal of the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, prepaid wireless carrier US Mobile has introduced a virtual private network (VPN) service for its users.
To offer the feature, US Mobile said it has teamed up with VPN service provider Windscribe to offer additional privacy protections across phones, tablets, and computers.
“We believe your data is YOURS and that sharing it, or not, should be YOUR choice. The right to privacy is one of the most inspiring things about this great country and for our mobile customers we are the first line of defense, which is why we’re doing what we can for current and future US Mobile customers by offering them a free VPN service,” US Mobile Founder and CEO Ahmed Khattak commented. “We are challenging the industry to keep their customers best interest in mind and protect their private browsing data and other online activity.”
By definition, Windscribe’s VPN service uses technology to create an encrypted connection over the internet to keep a user’s web browsing data anonymous and shield IP address and location. Windscribe’s VPN service also comes with a built-in ad blocker and firewall, the carrier said.
“We feel this goes above and beyond simply claiming not to sell data, as deploying tools like Windscribe will hide your activity even from the carrier itself, which truly demonstrates US Mobile’s commitment to protecting their customer’s privacy,” Windscribe Founder Yegor Saks added.
The move comes less than a month after both houses of Congress voted to scrap the FCC’s controversial broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs to obtain customers’ consent in order to use and share their personal information. That measure was signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Privacy advocates worried the move would reopen the floodgates for ISPs to sell customer data, but companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast said they don’t put customer browsing history up for sale.
“Let’s set the record straight. Verizon does not sell the personal web browsing history of our customers. We don’t do it and that’s the bottom line,” Verizon Chief Privacy Officer Karen Zacharia stated.
Still, it seems US Mobile is looking to capitalize on consumer worries with a unique differentiating offer. It’ll be interesting to watch whether any of the Tier-1 carriers (looking at you, T-Mobile) follow suit.