Is Public Shame Enough To Keep ISPs From Doing Bad Stuff With Your Data?
from the not-if-no-one-knows-what's-going-on dept
While there has been a lot of attention paid recently to ISPs using clickstream tracking to provide targeted ads, it seems that many people are still focused on the activities of the ad companies, such as NebuAd, which garnered some attention from Congress for its offering. However, as we pointed out recently, many ISPs have been selling your clickstream data to others for years without people knowing about it. Now, with Congress threatening to put regulations in place, the various ISPs are scrambling to push back against that possibility.
For example, Broadband Reports points out that Verizon is claiming that the chance of a public shaming will keep the company honest. While it’s certainly true that a public shaming is a risk, it’s also true that the sale of clickstream data is usually kept entirely secret, which would preclude any sort of public shaming. Public shaming could work if the companies were upfront and honest with how they’re using data. But, since they’re not, it’s difficult to see how that works as a self-regulating mechanism.