Wired’s Ryan Singel reports on a spat between AT&T and Google regarding their privacy practices:
Online advertising networks — particularly Google’s — are more dangerous than the fledgling plans and dreams of ISPs to install eavesdropping equipment inside their internet pipes to serve tailored ads to their customers, AT&T says.
Even more fun than watching gorillas fight (you don’t have to pick a side—it’s guaranteed to be entertaining) is when they bring up accusations that are usually reserved for the security and privacy set (or borderline paranoids who write blogs that cover information and privacy). Or their argument boils down to “but we’re less naughty than you.” Ask any Mom about the effectiveness of that argument. AT&T writes:
Advertising-network operators such as Google have evolved beyond merely tracking consumer web surfing activity on sites for which they have a direct ad-serving relationship. They now have the ability to observe a user’s entire web browsing experience at a granular level, including all URLs visited, all searches, and actual page-views.
Deep Packet Inspection is an important sounding way to say that they’re just watching all your traffic. It’s quite literally the same as the post office opening all your letters and reading them, and in AT&T’s case, adding additional bulk mail (flyers, sweepstakes, and other junk) that seems appropriate to your interests based on what they find.
Are you excited yet?