ISPs – how to make me hate you

I was reading the Slashdot feed earlier and found an interesting story from Techdirt regarding various large Internet Service Providers attempts to find “alternative revenue streams”.

For some reason they think that this is a good idea:

A few years ago, they picked up on the fact that they have a tremendous amount of data about what you (yes, you!) do online. A bunch of ISPs then started selling your clickstream data to companies that could do something useful with it (though, those ISPs probably neglected to tell you they were doing this). Late last year, we heard about a company that was trying to work with ISPs to make use of that data themselves to insert their own ads based on your surfing history — and now we’ve got the first report of some big ISPs moving into this realm. Over in the UK three big ISPs, BT, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media have announced plans to use your clickstream data to insert relevant ads as you surf through a new startup called Phorm.

Well, here’s a message to BT, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media: if you bring this insane idea into your broadband services then you can guarantee that my custom will go elsewhere. It’s a nasty privacy violation and I do NOT want you serving me adverts at all, especially one “targeted” at previous surfing habits.

I mean, who knows what’ll pop up eh?

I don’t like Google inserting their “contextual” adverts into my Googlemail, but at least they’re just skimming the texts for relevant words and not actively feeding third-party spammers with what should be considered private information.

Just don’t go there, OK?

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