There have been several attempts to force the US telcoms industry to respect our privacy: to stop our ISPs from spying on us and selling our usage data to marketers, to stop the mobile carriers from spying on our location and selling the data to marketers (and, it turns out, stalkers and bounty hunters), and every attempt has fizzled, as telcoms lobbyists and telcoms-funded lawmakers have sold us out, saying that the privacy rules are unnecessary because the carriers wouldn't do anything too sketchy lest they suffer reputational damage.
The thing is, there's no way the carriers' reputation could conceivably get any worse: just as you can't libel a scoundrel, any revelation about carrier shenanigans will only confirm our view of telcoms as the worst industry in the country, with the worst companies in the country.
Relying on telcoms industry shame to rein in their worst impulses has repeatedly proven to be useless. Telcoms execs lie like crazy, and then when they get caught, they legeresplain and gaslight about it.
As Karl Bode points out, there's actually a pretty easy way to make sure the carriers stop abusing us: make it illegal, and enforce the laws.
Whether the solution is a new law or just the enforcement of existing rules, getting any serious location data reform efforts over the hump is going to require a critical mass of public outrage to drive meaningful change.
Whether the solution is a new law or just the enforcement of existing rules, demanding the protection of your private location data is going to require a critical mass of public outrage to drive change. Unfortunately, you’re likely to see more and more scandals like the one Motherboard unearthed this week before the message finally gets through.
We Could Easily Stop Location Data Scandals, But We Cower to Lobbyists Instead [Karl Bode/Motherboard]
Frontier is the bottom-rung of the top-tier of US ISPs, serving customers in 29 states. Despite enjoying monopoly control over its customers' online lives, and despite massive government handouts and a lackadaisical approach to maintenance, and despite out-and-out theft from customers, the company is filing for bankruptcy, having accumulated $16.3b in debt through mismanagement.
Comments filed with the FCC by AT&T, Frontier, Windstream and Ustelcom (an industry group representing telcoms companies) have asked the FCC to change the rules for its next, $20.4 billion/10 year rural broadband subsidy fund to allow them to offer slower service than the (already low) speeds the FCC has proposed.
In 2017, a string of reports revealed that data-brokers were acquiring and linking titanic sets of location data from apps and mobile carriers and mining that data (and sometimes selling it outright). The carriers promised they'd end the practice, but they were lying. A year later, fresh reports surfaced of both app- and carrier-derived location […]
When it comes to top-quality kitchen gadgets that won’t break the bank, nothing beats Gourmia. These eight best-selling Gourmia tools will help you take your culinary prowesses to the next level, and each one is available for an additional 15% off when you enter the coupon code COOKSAVE15 at checkout. 1. Gourmia GTF7350 6-in-1 Multi-Function […]
Traditional headphones are overrated, especially now that this HumBird Bone-Conducting Speaker allows you to enjoy a rich and completely unique listening experience depending on where you place it. A must-have item for true audiophiles looking to switch up their usual listening routine, this compact speaker uses cutting-edge bone conduction technology in order to deliver a […]
You don’t need to be a professional chef in order to enjoy a great set of knives in your kitchen, yet far too many would-be culinary pros settle for subpar blades that lose their edge after a few months. This Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery Carbon 6 7-Pc Knife Block Set will bring a new level of […]