·Sprint Mobile Br..
Re: Not the 1st company to do this.
said by caco:I've seen people that have talked about it but, who actually does this besides Charter?
So why are these congress critters coming after them? We need to follow the political donation trail on this one.
Re: Not the 1st company to do this.
said by Karl Bode:And all combined don't equal the number of subscribers Charter has
Embarq, CenturyTel, Knology, WOW, and Broadstripe that I can tell.
| |burner50Proud Union THUGPremium
Fort Worth, TX
Privacy please... A Company you pay for a service should NOT be allowed to sell your information without your written permission.
I wonder if their Marketing "opt out" program inclueds "opting out" of this bullshit.
Any kind of packet inspection or dns query logs should be against the law
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!
Ugh! Whether or not your credit card company does this isn't the issue, the issue is that you have no way to opt out of it (like you do with your credit card company) because the opt-out system is poorly constructed and intended to eliminate other privacy methods.
Opting-out on Charter's web site only stops the targeted ads, it doesn't stop the data collection. And what's bad about that is that these people will be peeking into packets that may be covered by other privacy statutes, like HPPA. Simply saying "we ignore packets that might contain sensitive medical information" does not give immunity to Charter or Nebuad because they've already looked at it. And as more and more insurance and health care providers put medical information and claims forms online, this is a serious problem for Nebuad.
The other issue is that while Nebuad seems to be taking the privacy high-road in making one-way hashes of your MAC address and seemingly assuring your privacy, I doubt that will last for long. Charter does not provide any personally identifying information, but if you buy something from one of the people who use Nebuad's system, then *they know who you are*. And you can bet your sweet bippy that information along with your one-way hash will be shared, sold and traded to the highest bidder. Let's face it, the whole purpose of Nebuad is to get you to buy something. And when you do, they know who you are and will use that information for further targeting.
It's nice Charter wants to keep the finances rolling in, but I don't think this concept was thought through very carefully by its management and the impact it can have on customer privacy. Sure, Charter isn't coughing up personally identifiable information, but that doesn't mean that over time it isn't going to be collected over time by Nebuad, its successors, affiliates, partners and wanna-bes.
This is good Charter is breaking all sorts of laws with this program. It's wiretapping at its very definition, is no more anonymous than the data AOL released in 2006 (which was subsequently used to track some individuals to their front door), and does not meet the privacy criteria (mandatory opt-in) to be lawful under the Cable Privacy Act of 1984.
And for those of you wondering why they call it a "service enhancement," under the law they are only allowed to switch to an opt-out system (as opposed to an op-in) if the service is necessary for business. Of course this agreement with NebuAD is nowhere near necessary, but by calling it an "enhancement" they can do an end run around the law and use the much-easier-to-scam opt-in. Moreover, the opt-out Charter has provided doesn't even remove you from the data collection process, which clearly indicates that Charter only put that in place to hide the fact that they aren't providing the federally-mandated consumer protections. It's good that some Congressmen are getting involved. Under the law Charter's statutory obligations are $100 per customer per day for privacy violations under section 551 of the Cable Privacy Act of 1984, plus another $100 per customer per day on federal wiretapping laws. It stacks up fast.
If Charter gets away with selling information to NebuAD, then NebuAD can sell it over and over again to anyone they want. All you'll need to run is a single search which can positively identify you, such as your own name, or hit any site whatsoever on which your name is displayed, and all of that data can get traced to you.