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AT&T Advertising Privacy

AT&T Stops Using 'Super Cookies' To Track Cellphone Data 60

jriding (1076733) writes AT&T Mobility, the nation's second-largest cellular provider, says it's no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users' smartphones. The practice made it nearly impossible to shield its subscribers' identities online. Would be nice to hear something similar from Verizon.
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AT&T Stops Using 'Super Cookies' To Track Cellphone Data

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  • Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @06:41PM (#48394097)

    AT&T *claims* to have stopped using internal tracking codes.

    Whether or not you believe one of the top 3 most evil corporations on the planet is up to you.

    • AT&T *claims* to have stopped using internal tracking codes.

      Whether or not you believe one of the top 3 most evil corporations on the planet is up to you.

      I wouldn't believe anything any of the large telecom companies say with the possible exception of T-Mobile. And even with T-Mobile, I'm likely to have a healthy dose of skepticism.

    • by kesuki ( 321456 )

      no, they 'claim' the have stopped doing it with CELLPHONE data. everything else is still fair game as far as i read it. cellphones already are tracking devices so super cookies are redundant.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      proper translation: "we found another way to do the same thing"

    • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @07:50PM (#48394343)
      They have, honest.
      Now they use their new ultra secret tracking brownies.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just check for yourself here:

      I verified my AT&T phone is no longer including the cookies.

    • LOL they stopped using *that particular implementation*, will probably wait a few months, then roll it out again under a different name and just keep more of a lid on it this time.
  • "Would be nice to hear something similar from Verizon" Somehow I doubt we will hear them now...
  • by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @07:03PM (#48394171)

    Six comments so far, and all very nice to AT&T. I would have expected more hating.

    I'll try: fuck 'em.

  • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @07:10PM (#48394183)

    The pattern more than likely will be something like this:
    1. get called out for bullshit, anti-consumer practice
    2. Throw out PR spin about how they care about their customers, and don't do said practice
    3. Finally admit to the practice, promise to stop
    4. Wait a length of time until the practice becomes more 'industry standard', and the furor has died down
    5. re implement under a new name

    This tracking garbage is probably far too lucrative -- both to law enforcement (well they see themselves as law enforcement) and advertisers to ever really pass up.

    Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it's not going back in.

  • by jthill ( 303417 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @07:34PM (#48394275)

    They believe being "compelled" to carry traffic with the content of which theydecide to disagree is a violation of their first amendment rights.

    If you're like me, you flat-out rejected that statement, on sight. Right? There is simply no way that statement isn't some overhyped overheated drama? Clickbait or karma whoring or somebody nursing a grudge?

    • That is amazing. I was sure your link would go to some rant-filled blog, but those are Verizon's actual words in the court filing. Unbelievable.
  • To a different way of doing it.

  • by real gumby ( 11516 ) on Saturday November 15, 2014 @10:44PM (#48394947)

    The way to end this is not to say, "Would be nice to hear something similar from Verizon" like it's some sort of game.

    TFA (and the summary) are silent on the real question is which is, "What right do they have to fuck with my traffic?"

    It's like they are asking to be reclassified as a Title II common carrier.

    • I think the network provider has every right to monitor the traffic on their network to insure the quality of the system. That entails capturing certain information on practically every transmission. They probably don't need information on every packet, but designing complete capture is probably easier. Tagging is perfectly understandable.
  • Of course. By now, they dont need cookies: they have all the data they need already through simple transparent snort and span ports.... man oh man....

    • all the net traffic gets routed through a proxy already, so yeah. So many time Google would complain that my IP when logging on to gmail had suddenly gone from Oklahoma to California (where one of their exit nodes are). Quite annoying.
  • Maybe people doesn't realize that the machine minds that monitor packet traffic have gotten so good at what they do, they just don't need the keys to keep track of all of it. Take the other piece of news today that Google, is getting out of the "Pay" business for digital download content. That was just their method of familiarizing their algorithm writers with the financial transaction process. Now the computers do their masters snooping without needing the non-core business of barter.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein