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AT&T planning to sell your anonymous usage data to advertisers

Posted: , by Michael H.

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AT&T planning to sell your anonymous usage data to advertisers
Everyone always gets up in arms when Google offers a new service that gives value back for the data it collects, but most forget that your ISP and wireless carrier collects all of your data without ever giving you anything in return. Although some, like Verizon, and possibly soon AT&T, will sell that data to advertisers to make more profits for themselves.

AT&T has said that it is considering selling customers’ wireless and Wi-Fi locations, U-verse usage, website browsing habits (which means all sites you visit, even if you use "private browsing" modes), mobile app usage, and “other information.” In an effort to protect user privacy, AT&T says that it will sometimes bundle user data into groups, but that all data would be anonymous anyway. 

To be clear, we don't have so much of a problem with the trade of personal data, meaning we give usage data and get something in return, like Google Now, just as long as outside parties don't get any personally identifiable data in the process. AT&T claims that will not happen, but it still makes us uneasy how much data our ISPs and wireless carriers can gather without permission, and often without an opt-out. With Google, you can always opt-out and delete personal data, but ISPs track everything you do, regardless of if you're using "private browsing" methods, and most people don't even realize it. 

Although, from a public relations standpoint, it seems that not knowing is better, because there is always more of an outcry when Google is transparent over what it does, rather than ISPs who do even more, but aren't as open about it. 

source: AT&T via BGR

14 Comments
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posted on 03 Jul 2013, 20:43 2

1. papss (unregistered)


Oh Michael no need to be Googles savior.. It sucks no matter who does it in my opinion.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 22:15

8. MartyK (Posts: 700; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


Yep, so you might as well get something out the deal, right?, cause everybody is selling your information and getting something out of it but you... Lol

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 23:58

10. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3326; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I've had extensive arguments with Michael regarding Google Glass. There's several privacy concerns that makes me very wary of Glass.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 20:55 1

2. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6254; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


AT&T is so full of SHT. Glad I left them on time and went pre paid. Don't want them too sell my data.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 21:03

3. papss (unregistered)


You mean like google?

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 22:13 3

7. MartyK (Posts: 700; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


Nope, nothing like Google, Google give you stuff to use sell your data, Att give you nothing!, and charge you a late fee if you don't pay them on time.

Sell your data and you get NOTHING vs sell your data and you get FREE product... You chose.

posted on 04 Jul 2013, 02:21

11. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


Like MSFT, Google, Yahoo, stinking AskJeeves, ANY place you visit that has ads on the page. Your grocery rewards card, your smartTV your satellite box. Kmart, Sears, your Xbox and PlayStation- Visa, Discover, MasterCard, AMEX, ALL collecting anonymous data to sell you stuff that you have no choice but to buy because you have no free will. But only one of these services actually gives you something back for the data that they collect. Yup.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 21:11 7

4. icyrock1 (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


So they wanna charge people (advertisers) for the data that they give the NSA for free?

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 21:57 4

5. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


They don't give it to the NSA, the NSA takes it. Either way it sucks. Thumbs up for you.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 22:02

6. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


AT&T is bad but not as bad as Big Red

posted on 04 Jul 2013, 02:27

12. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


At the core all the carriers are in bed with each other- they all came from the same parent company originally until they split up. AT&T is really as bad as Verizon. They're so much hidden software on an AT&T smartphone it's ridiculous. It's not just the apps that you can't remove it goes much deeper than that. Remember all that Carrier IQ crap? That's nothing compared to all the other crap. this is why I ONLY buy Google phones at least I know they're collecting my data and giving me something back in return.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 23:14

9. Topcat488 (Posts: 1124; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


"Surely you remember Andrew Auernheimer, aka "Weev". He was the gentleman who was accused of obtaining the email addresses of 114,000 Apple iPad users with 3G connectivity, using an automated tool to pull the names out of AT&T's servers."



1. Topcat488 posted on 17 hours ago
Should have maybe just asked AT&T... Maybe they would have giving the names and addresses for a price.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-iPad-hacker-Weev-files-an-appeal-to-overturn-his-41-month-jail-sentence_id44851

posted on 04 Jul 2013, 09:37

13. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 847; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


Who cares...

By the way I had to laugh at the title of this article. "Your Anonymous Usage Data". Seems to me that you could hardly call it "my" usage data if it's also being called "anonymous". Think about it.

posted on 05 Jul 2013, 09:40

14. alpinejason (Posts: 262; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


Why am I not surprised about this

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