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Thread: ISPs allowed to sell your browsing and app usage data?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    No, I don't want that to happen, but I was under the impression it already was happening.
    To a small extent, it is already happening, yes. However, the scope of it is limited by the upcoming rules that were supposed to go into effect and the fact that the ISPs haven't yet gotten far with the data mining like other places. The FCC already has limitations on telephone records and what can and cannot be disclosed, considering phone service providers as "common carriers" for regulatory purposes. ISPs are also considered "common carriers" but the rules regarding privacy of your information are being gutted by the new administration. Do you consider it appropriate that your phone company be allowed to sell to anyone a record of who you call and when? What difference is there in an ISP selling the information of what sites you visit? That's the rub with the rules being gutted, the protections would disappear completely.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    To a small extent, it is already happening, yes. However, the scope of it is limited by the upcoming rules that were supposed to go into effect and the fact that the ISPs haven't yet gotten far with the data mining like other places. The FCC already has limitations on telephone records and what can and cannot be disclosed, considering phone service providers as "common carriers" for regulatory purposes. ISPs are also considered "common carriers" but the rules regarding privacy of your information are being gutted by the new administration. Do you consider it appropriate that your phone company be allowed to sell to anyone a record of who you call and when? What difference is there in an ISP selling the information of what sites you visit? That's the rub with the rules being gutted, the protections would disappear completely.
    There is a difference... If I walk around a mall, security cameras record what stores I go in, and I have to assume that information can be passed around, even if it isn't always. Visiting internet sites is more or less the same thing. Phone calls, and e-mails, to and from specific persons, those clearly fall under 4th amendment protections.

    I'd rather be anonymous, in fact I'd rather be invisible, but we do live in the 21st century.

    What really astounds me is that someone would pay real money for that information. I never understood how the Google business model could possibly work, yet here they are, one of the largest businesses in the world. I'm sort of glad it does because I get a lot of freebie out of the deal, but I still don't get it. Truth be told, they're not paying for my data.... I'm too cheap and too skeptical for it to be of much use to anyone.

    That said, I will look into it and maybe write a few nastygrams to the appropriate people. I'm sure I was on Obama's watchlist for years, might as well be on Trump's too.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    There is a difference... If I walk around a mall, security cameras record what stores I go in, and I have to assume that information can be passed around, even if it isn't always. Visiting internet sites is more or less the same thing. Phone calls, and e-mails, to and from specific persons, those clearly fall under 4th amendment protections.

    I'd rather be anonymous, in fact I'd rather be invisible, but we do live in the 21st century.

    What really astounds me is that someone would pay real money for that information. I never understood how the Google business model could possibly work, yet here they are, one of the largest businesses in the world. I'm sort of glad it does because I get a lot of freebie out of the deal, but I still don't get it. Truth be told, they're not paying for my data.... I'm too cheap and too skeptical for it to be of much use to anyone.

    That said, I will look into it and maybe write a few nastygrams to the appropriate people. I'm sure I was on Obama's watchlist for years, might as well be on Trump's too.
    You're equating being out in public with something you do in the privacy of your own home, somewhere that you choose to be available to be seen versus something where choice is limited. How many ISP options do you have in your area if you don't do dial-up? It's probably the same number of options you have for cable companies, utilities, or landline providers. So you are pretty well locked in to those ISPs.

    Google is a different matter. It's a website you can choose to visit or not, which is why the FTC oversees its data collection. It is just like a store you can choose to go into or not out in public. You go in there and they can try to market you their goods. With "common carriers" you don't get that same choice. Google only knows you come on ADISC if you route here through them. When it comes to the ISP, they know EVERY web address you visit.

    You are confusing website providers with ISPs, they are two separate things.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    You're equating being out in public with something you do in the privacy of your own home, somewhere that you choose to be available to be seen versus something where choice is limited. How many ISP options do you have in your area if you don't do dial-up? It's probably the same number of options you have for cable companies, utilities, or landline providers. So you are pretty well locked in to those ISPs.

    Google is a different matter. It's a website you can choose to visit or not, which is why the FTC oversees its data collection. It is just like a store you can choose to go into or not out in public. You go in there and they can try to market you their goods. With "common carriers" you don't get that same choice. Google only knows you come on ADISC if you route here through them. When it comes to the ISP, they know EVERY web address you visit.

    You are confusing website providers with ISPs, they are two separate things.
    No, I do understand the difference, and acknowledge analogy isn't exact.

    Probably shouldn't have used Google as the example. I understand that I write a check every month to AT&T for internet access and service. I would like to think that check buys me some consideration and privacy, but I never really counted on it, any more than I believed cable companies when their marketing pitch was 'commercial free TV'. They have me by the short hairs and we both know it. My other option is Comcast. A Hobson's choice. I don't pay anything to Google, yet they are a multibillion dollar entity. I understand conceptually how they make money, it's just hard for me to believe there's that much money involved in what they do. I could avoid them if I were motivated enough, but it would be difficult.
    Last edited by Maxx; 1 Week Ago at 13:41.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    No, I do understand the difference, and acknowledge analogy isn't exact.

    Probably shouldn't have used Google as the example. I understand that I write a check every month to AT&T for internet access and service. I would like to think that check buys me some consideration and privacy, but I never really counted on it, any more than I believed cable companies when their marketing pitch was 'commercial free TV'. They have me by the short hairs and we both know it. My other option is Comcast. A Hobson's choice. I don't pay anything to Google, yet they are a multibillion dollar entity. I understand conceptually how they make money, it's just hard for me to believe there's that much money involved in what they do. I could avoid them if I were motivated enough, but it would be difficult.
    The analogies you used don't even come close to the mark. The closest analogy would be that your ISP is like a telephone provider--they provide you the wires to make the connection to other points in exchange for your monthly check. As a common carrier they are not allowed to sell information about who you call and when, while the content of any discussion you have on those phone calls is supposed to be private. The 4th Amendment may not cover any data or conversation, the way our courts seem to rule and with what politicians are putting out there. Still, the government has admitted you have an expectation of privacy with such things.

    Much the same, the ISP provides you the connection to the internet--they give you the wiring as it were. The argument now is that NONE of your information flowing across that connection is considered private, that they are free to monitor, collect, analyze and sell that information as they desire. They argue that you should have zero expectation of privacy when you utilize their connection.

    Companies that have monopoly in a given area (telephone, cable, utility, etc.) do fall under extra controls by the government since residents in that area have no choice. They may have you by the short hairs, but there is a way for them to be reined in.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    Companies that have monopoly in a given area (telephone, cable, utility, etc.) do fall under extra controls by the government since residents in that area have no choice. They may have you by the short hairs, but there is a way for them to be reined in.
    100% with you on that... I'm just saying that controls or not I've never really trusted that anything is secure with the possible exception of banking, and to a lesser extent e-mail.

  7. #17

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    Why? Because companies make money off the meta data they get from you and others like you. That's why. Targeted ads sell more, and that makes companies richer. Wouldn't you spend $100 if it helped you make $1000 in return? They do too.

    Now that's where you should be glad for the new opt-in rules being put into effect. This means you have to manually opt-in to (and accept) having your more sensitive data shared by other companies. If you don't opt-in, then you are automatically opted out of having this happen. This new law is literally limiting what data companies can track you by.

    and it's all Obama's fault.

  8. #18

  9. #19

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    Great.... so the house passed it, of course. This is absolutely ridiculous.
    I can't wait til others in my family start getting diaper ads and stuff

    They won't care which computer/device gets the ads. They'll just see the IP address.

    VPNs aren't free... except maybe a few... plus I'd need it to work for my phone and ipad too.
    TOR is just super slow, isnt it?
    I haven't totally figured out proxies... every one I've tried in the past was really, really slow.

    I'm surprised more people aren't worried about this. I'm freaking out about it slightly, but trying not to.

    Maybe Comcast won't do this? Is there any chance of that, though?

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShippoFox View Post
    Great.... so the house passed it, of course. This is absolutely ridiculous.
    I can't wait til others in my family start getting diaper ads and stuff

    They won't care which computer/device gets the ads. They'll just see the IP address.

    VPNs aren't free... except maybe a few... plus I'd need it to work for my phone and ipad too.
    TOR is just super slow, isnt it?
    I haven't totally figured out proxies... every one I've tried in the past was really, really slow.

    I'm surprised more people aren't worried about this. I'm freaking out about it slightly, but trying not to.

    Maybe Comcast won't do this? Is there any chance of that, though?
    Hopefully your family doesn't understand the targeted advertising.
    (same with a lot of us who secretly enjoy this fetish)

    I really doubt they'll send you ads for diapers by mail, but if they do, I'm going to be pissed. No pun intended.

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