August 4, 2008
Internet providers under microscope for tracking customers
Senior members of the House Energy and Commerce Committe are questioning the tracking patterns of some of the largest Internet providers in the United States. A letter was sent to each company asking for specific information on how the company tracks and then customizes their advertising content to their customers' online usage.
"The request comes amid rising scrutiny of the practice, known as deep-packet inspection, or DPI, by lawmakers and consumer advocates.
The letters were sent to more than 30 online companies, including large broadband providers such as Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, as well as search giant Google Inc and Microsoft Corp.
"We are interested in the nature and extent to which you engage in such practices, and the impact it could have on consumer privacy," said the letter from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell and ranking committee Republican Joe Barton." (quoted from MSNBC.com/Reuters here)
Mining your customer's information without permission to customize advertising and make money? Unheard of!
...except by everyone who uses the Internet, of course.
In a fit of consumer protection, Mass. Dem. Rep. Edward Markey stated that Internet providers should be required to get their customers' permission before tracking them. That would be lovely, Rep. Markey. Keep on them!
You may download and read the Dingell letter sent to the Internet providers from this LA Times webpage. [MD]
August 4, 2008 | Permalink
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