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Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy 204

First time accepted submitter flash2011 writes "Recently Verizon changed its home internet TOS to by default share your location with advertisers. Now Verizon Wireless has also changed its privacy policy to by default share your web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage as well. Whilst there have been a few stories on these changes, internet forums have largely been quiet. Where is the outrage? Or have we just come to accept that ISPs are going to sell our personal information and web browsing habits?"
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Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday October 16, 2011 @11:00PM (#37735074) Homepage

    If you're locked into a Verizon contract, Verizon just gave you the option to cancel without paying a penalty. They've made a material change in the terms, and you now have the right to exit the contract. []

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Sunday October 16, 2011 @11:03PM (#37735100)

    The top executive staff, for the most part, is not us. They do not think like us, because if they did they would be unlikely to make it to a corporate executive or board of directors position. They do not act like us. Some of them may be very good people, and all of them are likely both driven and very fortunate, but it is a mistake to think that they think like us, or that their fears are the same as ours. Some of them are the same--but only some.

    The personality type of a driven businessperson tends to be different than that of a driven (or non-driven) engineer.

    Not always. But based on anecdotal evidence, I believe it to be true.

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Sunday October 16, 2011 @11:10PM (#37735140)

    Sure. If they had competitors. They hardly do. It is not a highly competitive market.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Sunday October 16, 2011 @11:26PM (#37735238) Journal

    Is it just me, or are most of the technological innovations in the last decade mainly about monetizing consumer behavior tracking?

    It's not just you, but I think you're putting it too nicely. Monetize is the wrong word (and I hate it because it's an unnecessary made up marketing word to boot). The correct word is exploit. Companies have become very customer hostile, while continuing to play up marketing that tells you how fantastic they are and how wonderful your life will be if you use their services. So there's also issues of hypocrisy and false advertising. These issues have always existed of course, but the abuse has gotten way out of hand. When is the last time you heard of a company being punished for false or misleading advertising? The worst part? Some customers defend such bad behaviour if it's their favourite company or if they think they aren't personally affected.

  • Regulate away (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FyberOptic ( 813904 ) on Monday October 17, 2011 @12:25AM (#37735496)

    This kind of stuff is ridiculous when you're already paying a lot of money for service. But lots of companies are taking advantage of digital consumers in lots of ways already. ISPs, like Charter for example, default to giving you a search page when DNS requests fail. This page is not only full of sponsored ads, but it breaks how the internet is supposed to work when a domain doesn't exist. Fortunately, Charter finally implemented a way to fully opt out (after a long time of a useless method), but the default is still the search page which most people will never change. And we all know the stories of ISPs replacing ads in pages with your own, or inserting new ads altogether, or creating profiles of sites you visit and selling it to advertisers. Who cares about the user when there's money to be made.

    We need privacy laws to stop it, because if you're counting on the free market/capitalism/blah blah to "work things out on its own" (as I've been told by people before when discussing privacy issues), then you're incredibly naive. Greed runs these companies' decisions, and when nearly every company is doing it, or there's no other company in your area to service you, then you're stuck. Time for more of those government regulations that people love to hate.

  • Re:Well I for one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday October 17, 2011 @12:31AM (#37735528) Homepage

    That is a failed idea. Thin edge of the wedge. You think they wont shift this idea of recording and selling all your browser habits from you fixed connection. You think they wont start intercepting all your emails, analysing the content for psychological marketing manipulation and farming those email addresses, you think they wont intercept your content and add there own. You think they wont start intercepting VOIP and, all the calls you make.

    How about as a business, all your contacts are now going to be farmed, all your business knowledge sold off to competitors. Hell, why stop their. The most profitable business tactic would be to intercept all, 'ALL', email tenders, and route that data to ISP preferred contractors.

    So the idea is to fight it at the beginning. Absolutely any and every challenge of personal and business privacy should be challenged and challenged hard right at the beginning. Any company that refuses should be shattered, broken up, it's parts sold off to competitors and the corporate executives should enjoy a federal holiday at government expense for quite a few years.

    This is extraordinary dangerous interception of private traffic and a real crack down is required.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17, 2011 @01:19AM (#37735688)

    Right. And then opt-out on Amazon's site. And then on Google's. And then one that one site you visited once and forgot about. And the other hundred million sites you visit every day. Sorry, but opt-out is a cop out. It's to force people to do something they don't want to (or more likely that you haven't even revealed to them) and put the blame on them for not "being smarter" about it. It's bullshit.

  • by bennettp ( 1014215 ) on Monday October 17, 2011 @01:37AM (#37735740) Homepage

    The correct word is exploit. Companies have become very customer hostile, while continuing to play up marketing that tells you how fantastic they are and how wonderful your life will be if you use their services.

    "Customer hostile" is not correct either. It implies that users are also customers, which we are not.

    So who are the customers? The customers are the advertisers who buy aggregate customer data, or advertising space. The customers are the people who actually pay for the service.

    The users are the product.

  • by Shoe Puppet ( 1557239 ) on Monday October 17, 2011 @03:47AM (#37736288)

    Assuming you're going to be showered by ads anyway in today's media, do you want to be showered by ads 90% of which don't interest you? Or do you want ads which interest you 75% of the time?

    I want ads that interest me 0% of the time. That way they can't influence me.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin