Meet The New AT&T Privacy Policy

Same as the old AT&T privacy policy. No wait, it’s not:

AT&T has issued an updated privacy policy that takes effect Friday. The changes are significant because they appear to give the telecom giant more latitude when it comes to sharing customers’ personal data with government officials.

The new policy says that AT&T — not customers — owns customers’ confidential info and can use it “to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process.”

Noticed my post below? Maybe AT&T realized that their battle with the Electronic Frontiers Foundation won’t die a quiet State Secrets death after all. AT&T can hardly kick the NSA out at this point. Only one way left, then, to avoid embarrassing contradictions between practice and policy: change the policy.

Strange times.






22 replies
  1. 1
    GOP4Me says:

    When AT&T’s new policy helps us catch Bin Laden or foil the next attack, you’ll appreciate it more.

  2. 2
    Richard 23 says:

    Too bad Osama has already endorsed Qwest (although he prefers Cingular).

  3. 3
    GOP4Me says:

    Too bad Osama has already endorsed Qwest (although he prefers Cingular).

    His followers won’t use Qwest, then, though. It would be too conspicuous. They’ll resort to AT&T, hoping for anonymity by means of coded remarks. Their codes will get cracked, and they’ll lead us straight to Osama.

    Then AT&T will let you have your precious privacy back.

  4. 4
    ppGaz says:

    Much ado about nothing. This is just a new interpretation of “rollover” for the telcos. Besides, it’s not like NSA is going to take your phone call records and then try to sell you a timeshare, or want to survey you about your frozen food preferences and interrupt your dinner to do it.

    What’s all the fuss?

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    Why does AT&T taking possession of my confidental information to “protect its legitimate business interests” not make me feel better? It feels like the wolf is guarding the sheep from the lion. I suppose now we won’t have to worry about governmental spying when AT&T can just sell our info to the highest bidder.

  6. 6
    ppGaz says:

    your precious privacy

    Paper thin cover? Blown.

    Let’s talk about your “precious” anonymity, GOBSMACK4Me.

  7. 7
    Ancient Purple says:

    Honestly, Idiot King and AT&T must honestly think that the terrorist are stupid, because they never would have thought that the government would tap phone lines.

    Nor has anyone ever bought a cheap pay-as-you-go cell phone from Wal-Mart or Target or even the local 7-11 that you can activate anonymously.

    Yup. Those dumb terrorists: smart enough to fly jumbo jets into buildings, but not smart enough to think about avoiding phone usage that can be traced.

  8. 8
    ed says:

    My shopping list for tomorrow:
    -Stationary
    -Stamps
    -Pen
    -Paper address book

    And politicians have been reduced to acting as business condoms. Can safely f**k the public with little fear.

  9. 9
    Krista says:

    I wonder if one can still get carrier pigeons? Or owl mail, à la Harry Potter?

  10. 10
    Richard 23 says:

    Carrier pigeons? Why yes! And they’re quite delicious!

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    Carrier pigeons? Why yes! And they’re quite delicious!

    The best flavor is from the ones that die of natural causes.

    Pigeons that are carriers often transmit trichomonads to their young during feeding.

    Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talkin about.

  12. 12
    Andrew says:

    I recommend RFC 1149 and the QoS adaptation, RFC 2549 for your secure data transmission needs.

  13. 13
    Richard 23 says:

    Ah yes, IP over Avian Carriers.

    Even geekier is Var’aq, a programming language based on the obviously fictional Klingon language, ie, “what the computer culture of the fictional Klingon race might be like.”

    I wager that people who use Var’aq or can speak conversational Klingon have never been on a date nor would ever imagine such a thing.

    NERD!

    Essentially plagarized without attribution from a commenter over at Sadly, No.

    What was this thread about again before Krista derailed it?

  14. 14
    Perry Como says:

    What was this thread about again before Krista derailed it?

    I’m sure it involved a prison shower scene.

    h/t to ip over avian carrier

  15. 15
    Krista says:

    I derailed it? Like hell. Ed’s the one who brought up snail mail.

    And Perry, what in hell are you doing up at 3am thinking about prison shower scenes? Wait…never mind. I don’t want to know.

  16. 16
    BIRDZILLA says:

    AT&T working with BIG BROTHER to do what it wants

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    Jesus. Given the lack of traction in Congress for laws protecting people from identity theft, this isn’t surprising, but it certainly raises the stakes, doesn’t it? Suppose a hacker gets your information from AT&T. If you try suing AT&T, they can point out that they own the information that was stolen, not you, so what are you complaining about?

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    Does confidential info include passwords and user ID names? Damn…I have the same password for many diff sites. Unscrupulous employees at AT&T could clean out my bank account and sell my stock portfolio in a matter of minutes….Or have they always had access to passwords??

    I smell an ID theft explosion.

  19. 19
    Cyrus says:

    ed Says:
    My shopping list for tomorrow:
    -Stationary
    -Stamps
    -Pen
    -Paper address book

    And politicians have been reduced to acting as business condoms. Can safely f**k the public with little fear.

    Naah, forget it, all I’m buying is a thesaurus. Haven’t you seen that sign, it’s been on a few blogs lately? “Bush is listening. Use big words.”

  20. 20
    Zifnab says:

    See, this is what I’m saying. Fox guarding the henhouse here.

    The best part is that its a move right out of the Republican playbook. Voter fraud you say? We’ll just hand out these nifty Diebold voting machines with no paper trail. That’ll solve your problems. Terrorists from Saudi Arabia bombing your country? We’ll just go attack… Iraq. Money laudnering and corruption in politics? Don’t worry, we’ll stop those nasty netroots. People keep trying to look at your phone records? Yoink! Happy Birthday, now they’re not even your phone records so you can’t complain.

    What really gets me is whether AT&T staking claim to our phone records prevents the government from touching them, or whether it just lets AT&T hand them over guilt free? Cause now you can’t sue AT&T OR the US Government for spying on you. I am soooo switching to QWEST.

  21. 21
    Perry Como says:

    And Perry, what in hell are you doing up at 3am thinking about prison shower scenes?

    Brief moments of lucidity — involving the things that really matter — during bouts of code induced haze.

  22. 22

    ed says: And politicians have been reduced to acting as business condoms.

    Ed? Are you married or otherwise attached? What a great line!

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