AT&T Says It May Inject Its Own Ads In Your Surfing… And You'll Like It
from the oh-really? dept
Various ISPs have long made extra cash by selling your clickstream data to various tracking outfits. But in the last few months, it’s come out that many have been either testing or considering taking things a step further by inserting their own ads based on your surfing history, using technology from firms like NebuAd and Phorm. Both of those companies have run into some trouble lately, as there are serious questions as to the legality of such practices, which have gotten the attention of folks in Congress.
While most ISPs have shied away from giving too detailed answers to Congress, apparently AT&T has decided to take a different stance. While the company says it has not tried any such ad insertion technology, it vehemently defends the idea, claiming that it would implement it “the right way” and that it “could prove quite valuable to consumers and could dramatically improve their online experiences, while at the same time protecting their privacy.”
This is an old line that’s been used before about these types of services: that it somehow enhances your surfing experience by throwing less crappy ads at you. Of course, this is based on the somewhat faulty assumption that people actually care about most banner ads, no matter how relevant. Also, it’s hard to see how it “protects” a customer’s privacy, when the whole point of these programs is to make use of your surfing details (which most people believe is private) to make your ISP more money.