The new policy says that AT&T — not customers — owns customers’ confidential info and can use it “to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process.” The policy also indicates that AT&T will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service — something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.
The company’s policy overhaul follows recent reports that AT&T was one of several leading telecom providers that allowed the National Security Agency warrantless access to its voice and data networks as part of the Bush administration’s war on terror.
It’s pretty sad that they care so little about their customers (I’m one of them) and the public image of aiding big brother in spying on us that they’ve made this kind of bold move. From a business standpoint, this is bound to hit their bottom line as conscientious customers head for the door. Then again, the NSA might be paying them for all this information.
Sadly, even if the Electronic Frontier Foundation wins their lawsuit, it won’t mean much going forward.