The US House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives ISPs the right to sell internet history to the highest bidder.
This follows the same vote in the Senate last week. Just prior to the vote, a White House spokesman said the president supported the bill, meaning that the decision will soon become law.
This approval means that whoever you pay to provide you with internet access – Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, etc – will be able to sell everything they know about your use of the internet to third parties without requiring your approval and without even informing you.
Your ISP already knows quite a lot about you: your name and address, quite possibly your age, and a host of other personally identifiable information such as your social security number. That's on the customer information side. On the service side, they know which websites you visit, when, and how often.
That information can be used to build a very detailed picture of who you are: what your political and sexual leanings are; whether you have kids; when you are at home; whether you have any medical conditions; and so on – a thousand different data points that, if they have sufficient value to companies willing to pay for them, will soon be traded without your knowledge.
This article applies to USA. Be aware this could also happen in the UK.
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden