Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2012 21:18 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption As it turns out, new Verizon customers (although there are reports existing customers are getting notified too) have 30 days to opt out of something really nasty: Verizon will sell your browsing history and location history to marketers. Apparently, AT&T does something similar. Doesn't matter what phone - iOS, Android, anything. Incredibly scummy and nasty. I quickly checked my own Dutch T-Mobile terms, and they don't seem to be doing this.
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Already happening at ISPs.
by Alfman on Wed 10th Oct 2012 02:52 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

People may not be aware that there is already precedent for broadband ISP tracking:

NebuAd was an early pioneer in buying personal information from ISPs and reselling it. They'd install tracking systems at the ISP and pay ISPs $5/user/month for the privilege. However it turned out that customers weren't aware of what was going on and lawsuits caused them to go defunct.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/05/theres-no-optin/

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/NebuAD-Officially-Closes-102517


Phorm is another notorious user packet tracking company that signed with large UK ISPs and is growing worldwide. The company and it's conglomerates have been responsible for numerous spyware software.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/business/media/20adcoside.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorm


The opt-out controls at the heart of these systems is not at the ISP account level, but rather based on cookies, which is extremely problematic if one wanted to just opt out from ISP tracking all together without regards to user-login, browser, computer, tablet, etc. Users who want the most privacy typically disable cookies entirely so that third parties cannot track them, however this configuration would "permit" the ISPs & partners to track each request.


Obviously, invasive packet tracking should be "opt-in" (even though we all know this would render the business model totally useless). Legally though I think the problem with NebuAd was that ISPs failed to disclose the tracking in their terms and conditions, which Phorm required ISPs to do. I'm sure both ATT & verizon will cross their T's and dot their I's in the terms of use, but never the less, I do wonder how many users' web sessions are being tracked by ISP/partners without user knowledge?

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