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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RE[5]: Wow...
by ilovebeer on Wed 10th Oct 2012 04:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow..."
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Once again, it comes down to how much you trust the service provider. My Comcast agreement explicitly states that they will not sell or otherwise use my browsing and location information outside of a law enforcement subpoena or warrant. I have to believe them if I want to have a home internet connection; as of this news piece I'm certainly not going with AT&T DSL. Once again, Comcast could be lying to me but at least I have it on paper that they don't track and sell info. That's something that can be held over their head in court if necessary.

If people are that concerned about their privacy then trust shouldn't even be a factor. All of these privacy policies are worded in a way that leaves backdoors open and subject to change at any time without prior notice (ie: they'll tell you after the fact). Also, they're not going to give you ammunition to use against them in court. In theory those privacy policies are a nice little security blanket, but in practice they're usually worth little more than the actual paper they're printed on after you get through the wording and fine print.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Wow...
by Laurence on Wed 10th Oct 2012 16:28 in reply to "RE[5]: Wow..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


If people are that concerned about their privacy then trust shouldn't even be a factor. All of these privacy policies are worded in a way that leaves backdoors open and subject to change at any time without prior notice (ie: they'll tell you after the fact). Also, they're not going to give you ammunition to use against them in court. In theory those privacy policies are a nice little security blanket, but in practice they're usually worth little more than the actual paper they're printed on after you get through the wording and fine print.


Not sure where you stand in the US, but in the UK there are watch dogs like Trading Standards. If it's deemed that a company is deliberately misleading consumers (eg Comcast cleverly wording their agreement so customers are tricked into thinking no browsing data will be sold), then the offending company will be penalised.

In fact I'm fairly sure (though I might be wrong here) that ISPs got a warning over their "up to 20Mb" adverts in the national media (TV / newspapers / etc) because most customers were only receiving ADSL speeds due to ADSL2+ not being available in their area. And, on that occasion, I actually sympathised with the ISPs as I'm not really sure how you advertise broadband packages when different streets in the same town can have vastly different cabling - let alone the different towns across the country.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Wow...
by ilovebeer on Thu 11th Oct 2012 03:05 in reply to "RE[6]: Wow..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Not sure where you stand in the US, but in the UK there are watch dogs like Trading Standards. If it's deemed that a company is deliberately misleading consumers (eg Comcast cleverly wording their agreement so customers are tricked into thinking no browsing data will be sold), then the offending company will be penalised.

There are several groups that attempt to watchdog on behalf of users/customers but the truth is the chance of any significant fine or punishment is so low that many companies blatantly push their luck, if not outright doing exactly what they're not supposed to. And then our "justice" system is such that it's possible to drag things out for years & years, until people lose interest or forget about it.

When the worst you're likely to get, if anything, is a slap on the hand, it's pretty easy to misbehave.

Reply Parent Score: 2