Wednesday, 17 October 2012

There’s oil in them thar smartphones


“Data is the new oil.”
— Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for a new Verizon Wireless marketing initiative called Precision Market Insights, which sells reports to marketers showing what apps the nation’s No. 1 wireless carrier subscribers are using on their mobile devices, what websites they’re visiting and their locations. Verizon says it allows customers to opt out (see how) and says in its privacy policy that “this type of information may be aggregated or anonymized for business and marketing uses by us or by third parties.” (A quick check of the privacy policies of AT&T and Sprint, the next two biggest U.S. wireless carriers, shows similar language about the use of aggregated, anonymous data.) The company also claims it does not reveal customer identities as it sells their information to marketers, according to CNet. But some legal observers are raising questions about whether Verizon is violating wiretapping laws. And Christopher Soghoian with the ACLU differentiates Verizon’s customer-information use from that of free Internet services such as Google and Facebook, telling CNet, “when you pay a company $80 a month, they have no business monetizing the data they’re collecting.”


Source: Quoted: There’s oil in them thar smartphones | Good Morning Silicon Valley

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