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Now Telecom Cos. Can Mine Consumers' Data

The Wall Street Journal reports on what the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) privacy rules could mean for telecom/broadband providers like At&T, Comcast, and Verizon, and their use of consumer data. Make no mistake -- these giants have plenty of data on everyone and have the ability to monitor Website visits, app usage, TV and video consumption, shopping habits, and more. The FCC''s decision on Tuesday to overturn privacy rules that required telecom firms to obtain consumers' permission prior to sharing usage data with third parties could be a boon for advertisers. The Journal notes that the telecom giants prevailed in their argument that they were at a disadvantage vs. Google and Facebook which aren't regulated by the FCC. Now, telecom and broadband providers will be on equal footing with Google and Facebook which "have built huge businesses powered by reams of data they collect about consumers’ online actions, both on their own properties and across the web," the report said. Privacy advocates maintain that companies like Verizon will start creating sophisticated audience profiles of their customers that are likely to include intelligence about the content they're reading, their friends, the places they shop, do their banking, and even their precise location.



Read the whole story at Wall Street Journal »

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