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Thursday, August 14, 2008

AT&T Wants to Watch What You Do

You know those fancy keyword advertisements that show up with the help of Google? Yeah, that's because Google watches what you're doing and then delivers content based on that.

AT&T, which has gotten into the ISP business, thinks it ought to be able to monitor the sites you go to whenever you use its service for the same reason Google does.

Most of the major ISPs have told Congress they have no plans to monitor how you surf sites; however, AT&T said it was considering the move so that it could better build an advertising network. It's true that AOL does monitor sites -- but only the ones that it has created and run, something few have had a problem with.

The idea of an ISP, which connects you to the Web, also monitoring what you're doing is a frightening concept for this reason: if AT&T, for instance, builds an advertising network based upon search habits, there is absolutely nothing keeping them from slowing your access to their "non-affiliated" sites, making it easier for you to search for "their" sites and harder for you to search for the "other" sites.

They say they won't do that.

Let me tell you right now: they are lying. Great. Big. Lie.

The temptation is too great and so far no company that has had the opportunity to exploit its monopoly has done so without a great deal of problem-making.

By Brad at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

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