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

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



1. papss unregistered

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

8. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 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

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

2. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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.

3. papss unregistered

You mean like google?

7. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 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.

11. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 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.

4. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

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

5. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

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

6. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

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

12. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 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.

9. Topcat488

Posts: 1417; Member since: Sep 29, 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.

13. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 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.

14. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

Why am I not surprised about this

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