AT&T: All Your Data Belongs To Us

If you're an AT&T customer, your privacy just went up in smoke. The company has sent a letter to its more than seven million Internet customers telling them, essentially, that all their usage information is owned by AT&T -- and...

June 22, 2006

1 Min Read
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If you're an AT&T customer, your privacy just went up in smoke. The company has sent a letter to its more than seven million Internet customers telling them, essentially, that all their usage information is owned by AT&T -- and the company can do anything with it that it wants. Reuters reports that AT&T has told its customers that the customers' business records are owned by AT&T, and "as such, AT&T may disclose such records to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

In other words, AT&T can do whatever it wants with them.

And things go downhill from there. AT&T also said that, in the words of Reuters, "it would track viewing information for customers of a television service it is developing in order to help it make recommendations to customers based on their viewing habits."

Of course, the company could do whatever it wants with that viewing information as well. AT&T said that the customer will have to opt in to have viewing habits tracked. But figure that it will be buried so deep in disclaimers and legal notices, that no one will notice what they're signing away.

It's bad enough that AT&T has provided massive amounts of data about people's Internet use to the National Security Agency. With this new decision, AT&T can do all that and more -- and customers have no say over it.If I were an AT&T customers, here's what I'd do: Abandon the company fast and go to another ISP. It's a company that can't be trusted with your private information.

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