Congressmen Not Happy About Charter's Plan To Sell Out Users To Advertisers

from the might-want-to-think-twice dept

While Charter Communications is out defending its efforts to inject ads into your surfing activities by collecting data on where you surf, it appears that some powerful Congressional Representatives are suggesting that Charter might want to think twice about implementing this. Reps. Ed Markey and Joe Barton (who both have a fair amount of power in Congress) have sent Charter a letter warning the company that doing this without letting people affirmatively opt-in may violate the Communications Act, which limits what cable companies can do with customer records. What's really surprising is that, after so much anger over similar efforts in the UK (including similar questions about legality) that Charter forged right ahead with a nearly identical plan in the US, positioning it as an "enhancement." Update And on top of this, reports are now coming out that opt-ing out of this system isn't so easy after all.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    e6k (profile), May 16th, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    Mike check it out, the guys that make this gamer show (5 people) are using the show for the commercial to sell t-shirts. Watch the vid at the top of the page.

    http://www.purepwnage.com/

     

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    Not Bob, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    A simple solution

    As if there were such a thing...

    Taking a cue from the end of the linked story at the bottom of the piece, Congress could make it illegal to track, trace, or tamper with data transmitted over the internet. End of nonsense. As if...

     

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      Jake, May 16th, 2008 @ 7:04pm

      Re: A simple solution

      I'd add a qualifier permitting federal agencies to do so when in possession of a search warrant, but yeah, that about covers it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:49pm

    Wow, so not everyone on the hill is bought and paid for.
    Cheers.

     

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      some old guy, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:51pm

      Re:

      um, you mean this guy is bought and paid for by the telco, as opposed to the cabletelco.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:59pm

        Re: Re:

        I hadn't considered that.
        You are suggesting they would be fine with it, if it were a telco.

         

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        Mike (profile), May 16th, 2008 @ 6:20pm

        Re: Re:

        um, you mean this guy is bought and paid for by the telco, as opposed to the cabletelco.

        Well, both Markey and Barton have their fair share of ridiculousness (check out Barton's hearings on video game violence, for example), but in Markey's case, he's definitely not paid for by the telcos. He's the guy pushing for net neutrality regulations that the telcos hate.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    This is cool

     

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    claire rand, May 17th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    uk...

    given this is already illegal in the UK, and appears to be going ahead anyway.. the police refuse to touch it and the governbent has said its a matter for the police.

    oh and they have set the law governing such things so that *only* the governbent can start a legal case...

    don't hold your breath, once it becomes common knowlegde among the monkeys in power that they can see *everything* you see on line they will start salivating at the posibilities to 'protect the children' etc.

     

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    PixelPusher, May 19th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    One more bad idea

    So parents are *legally* surfing for pr0n online at night away from prying kids eyes.


    The next day the kids are surfing for WebKins, and oops up pop pr0n ads full of naughty bits.



    I can't WAIT for that lawsuit against Charter.

     

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    Chris in Missouri, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Not Just Charter

    My ISP is Centurytel. Five days ago, my antivirus prog started warning me about a sudden flood of tracking cookies on my system. Prior to June 14, it was unusual for AVG to find more than a half-dozen such cookies during the daily scan. Suddenly it was finding seventy to ninety per scan. I'd erase them each time; the next day they'd be back. I couldn't figure out what was going on--my browsing habits hadn't changed--until last night when someone sent me a copy of the report on NebuAd and the cookies it generates. Sure enough, those were the cookies that were being placed on my machine.

    I deleted them and replaced them with empty read-only files with the same names today. We'll see how that works.

     

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    Anonymous, Jun 21st, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    Bresnan-NebuAd

    Bresnan Communications is also utilizing NebuAd as evident by their own website. www.BRESNAN.COM/CUSTOMIZE

    Also check out this discussion on dslreports; http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,20258823?hilite=

     

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