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]
Wisconsin's Pardeeville Area Shopper is a one-person family business run by Candace Lestina, whose mother founded the weekly paper; like all businesses, the Shopper needs internet service, and like most American businesses, the Shopper is at the mercy of a terrible, monopolistic ISP, in this case, Frontier.
The federal appeals court in the DC circuit has overturned the FCC's decision to make it effectively impossible for people on tribal lands to make use of the federal "Lifeline} program that provides cheap broadband access to poor communities.
In the wake of this week's Motherboard scoop that the major US carriers sell customers' location data to marketing companies that sell it on to bounty hunters and other unsavory characters, Google has disclosed that they have told the carriers that supply service for its Google Fi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that they expect […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]