AT&T disconnects privacy protections
We can't help but admire San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus. While a tad overserious, the high-tech consumer crusader is at his best when catching corporate PR people in the act of contradicting themselves.
Real Tech News says that the change in privacy policies is really a response to the controversy over AT&T's "alleged participation in [National Security Agency] wiretapping." The new policy includes language that appears to cover any disclosure of records in a government investigation.
Leave them unto themselves... there's plenty of alternative options.
Hmmm...loss of privacy...open borders...soon-to-be built Texas toll roads operated by a Spanish company.....globalism right around the corner....supreme court decisions revoking our constitutional freedoms....we have nothing to worry about if we want to live in a police state.
Absolutely its something to worry about!!. This is the prophetic vision of sci-fi writers coming true. This is government trying to legally control the choice of its citizens while saying that they are not. This is "Animal Farm" playing out before our eyes. Citizens of this country need to stand up because our "elected" officials are trying to justify it by saying they are protecting us. If we want terrorism to lose, then they should be giving us more freedoms, like making it easier to vote, make it easier to understand how government works and how decisions are brought forth. There should be no secret meetings with energy CEO's, or Vice Presidents who use their position to squash the opinion of dissenters instead of perfecting policy to benefit the most people, not the least. Terrorism will lose when they understand that this country will always represent the right to choose your religion, the right to question everything our elected officials do, and the right of all people, regardless of race, gender or creed to a quality education so they have a chance to shape their own destiny. Freedom is what this country is and will always be unless we continue to let corrupt officials and corrupt corporations choose profiteering over community. People should be scared out of their minds as to what is happening, right up until election day this November where we can choose to elect people who will protect us, not sell us out.
ATT's new policy is one more example of corporate invasion of privacy - along with things like store "discount" or "benefit" cards that track purchases, etc. Corporations do not collect information unless they intend to use it.
AT&T's new policy is ridiculous! I will switch carriers today and avoid this company in future decisions like the plague. Their attitude to my privacy is the height of hippocracy!
As for this NEW POLICY from AT&T, customer should do a very simple thing.
Drop AT&T from your phone and internet service. This is the start of when every thing we do or say is recored by someone.
1984 is just around the corner
AT & T is basically admitting to giving the phone records to the NSA and now they want to cover their butts. I am happy that I do not have any AT & T service.
If this is the case I will find another company with whom to do business!
Good luck ATT. I disconnected my service thanks to your brazen violation of my rights.
THe only way to make a point about losing your lack of privacy is to cancel the plan and go elsewhere, that's my plan. They are going to lose my DSL, landline and Cingular services and the money generated from it. If enough people do the same maybe AT&T will get the point that privacy should be respected.
It sucks no one should have rights to your personal data and ATT should not keep any records
Yes, it is absolutely something to be worried about...the slow erosion of personal privacy, constitutional rights and the ever so suble society standards for what is expected and what is sacrosanct is changing within the full view of this generation. By the time the teens of today become the protectors of society and our rights they have seen years of cameras in the schools and on the streets, electronic surveillance, wire tapping, body pat downs at the airports and entertainment venues. So what if you now have to apply to the gov't to move from one city to another? To request advance permission to leave your home? Once you give those rights away, you don't get them back easily.
This policy really isn't anything new for AT&T - the only difference is that now, they're *admitting* that customers have no privacy, whereas before, they lied and said they did.
I'd rather have no privacy with a company that admits they don't offer any than have no privacy with a company that pretends to respect customers but secretly provides information to the government without telling me...
Very disturbing trend. I guess Orwell was only off by 22 years or so.
The bottom line is ATT (SBC) never has and never will show any concern for it's customers and customer service. I dropped SBC years ago because of the way they treat customers. Unfortunately I was sucked back in when SBC bought ATT. I am now switching to Comcast for phone service. I will do anything to get away from an SBC run ATT. They couldn't care less about customer service. SBC/ATT is pathetic
Just another step by ATT in selling out their customer for profit and engaging in corrupt collusion with the Bush Adminstration.
At&T ruthless practice tracking consumers watching and calling tracks not only violate the "privacy act" but it also tells us the consumers they are disclosing private matters to the government. I say we should boycott AT&T.
Since SBC merged with AT&T, we have been getting tons of Telemarketing calls. Prior to that, we got none. Even though we are on the DO NOT CALL LIST, Dish Network has called 3 times. AT&T sold our ph#'s after the merger.
Being a Bellsouth customer and stock holder this makes it very easy for me to decide on how to vote on the proposed merger. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a joke!! So, what do we do with the barely functioning 'do not call list'? Time to move on .
I don't trust the government and obviously the government doesn't trust the citizens it is supposed to serve.
DO WE REALLY HAVE PRIVACY IN TODAY'S ELECTORNIC AGE???IF YOU THINK WE DO ..I WOULD LIKE TO SELL YOU THE LONDON BRIDGE...
I plan on cancelling my cell phone, long distance, cable services, etc. Maybe they will get the message.
I have ATT/SBC DSL and I'm changing over in July to Comcast cable. Don't really like to change but this is corporate PR stupidity at its finest.
I value my privacy very much and ATT will feel the financial pain for sure.
I feel that this has been a long time coming, and that the exposure of the 'sharing' was only a matter of time. Now that SBC is AT&T - look for more mergers so that the government can track everyones calls, TV viewing, and soon, our home water consumption each time we flush the toilet.
This is just plain ridiculous, the only reason the govt. let SBC and AT&T merge is so that it would be easier for them to track citizens. Drop AT&T and write a letter to your senators expressing your frustration with the way the government is handling our personal data.
I was considering AT&T for broadband and TV when it bacame available in my area, but not anymore! I probably will drop my VOIP service also.
It's obvious that this is an attempt to avoid litigation. It is also an atempt to cover up the illegal activities of the phone companies and the Bush Administration. It is also against the law.
AT&T just wants to control everything including the internet. People are starting to see just what kind of company they really are. I wouldn't be the customer of anything that AT&T has to offer. It's not right that a corporation should have that much power to control our government. The government let's AT&T have just about anything it wants including help stomping out competition. I'm glad that there are new player and technology that is available so that people don't have to use AT&T. AT&T is just whinning because they are not the power they use to be.
It makes me wonder who really is running some of the US's largest corporations. It doesn't sound like their are too many "people of principle" left in corporate America.
If that is the case I only need a conscience and common sense to predict where US Big Business is headed.
I am canceling At&t this week! Enough said!
Just the reason I need to cut up my "Universal Card". Switched to Verizon years ago after being raked over the coals with AT&T long distance.
It is the height of arrogance that AT&T thinks it can take away my property and violate my privacy by merely issuing a press release. The fact that they think Americans are so stupid and unwilling to standup for themselves galls me to no end.
I thought their new motto was "Your world. Delivered." Apparently they meant "Our world. Piss off."
Do not even think about getting a new AT&T connection if you can avoid it. Also, carefully read the legalese on information privacy of the company you choose for your phone provider.
This move by AT&T is appalling, and I am glad I don't have AT&T service. I wish I could get Qwest and plan on dropping NSA-spying buddy Verizon once some other choices in my life are done.
I guess these companies are taking a lead from an administration that has used "signing statements" to assert it does not have to obey Congressional law, international treaties the U.S. has signed, etc. However, I look forward to the police state and companies inserting chips into my brain to monitor my thoughts. "He's thinking of cheetos.... Flash him an ad now...."
I think I will change my land communications provider
Thanks AT&T! I am going to Qwest!
One thing is for sure, I will never ever be an AT&T customer. For those big data providers who want to sell our privacy, I say to those subscribers, take your business elsewhere. If you don't use them, they can't make money, and then there will be no privacy to give to prying eyes. The American people need to stand up aaginst this kind of nonsense. This administration is so tied up in making new rules because they obviously can't follow the precedents set before them. As an American and a taxpayer, the direction of this country in recent years sickens me.
Glad I am not an AT&T customer !!!
Yes... If I could close my ATT accounts, I would. That's my information, not theirs. They are the service provider. Did they forget?
Reason enough to not go ATT.
at&t is an example of corporate greed. I cancelled my service after they disconnected my internet service 2 years ago . they said I was using an illegal number to access the internet. this was the number they gave me and I had used for a year and a half. They identified themselves as the at&t security enforcement . Also when we signed up for their phone "package" our bill was amost 80.00 a month higher than promised . Heres hoping at&t gets whats coming to them!!!
Everyone should swich to Verizon, Comcast, and Vonage!
This is far too Orwellian for me. I'm researching various ISP and ground line providers. AT&T and SBC won't be getting my business in the future!
ATT is no different than Verizon, Quest, BellSouth or any cable operator for that matter. They all will bow to the goverment's pressure unless we as citizens and consumers stand up for what is right.
You have got to figure that the top brass at AT&T knew that there would be fall out from this, but figured that people are to busy to worry about changing phone carriers. But this is 2006 and not 1984. If you have a cable modem you can use Vonage, or even Comcast. Another idea is save money on phone service and just buy a cellphone.
I sure would hate to be an AT&T stockholder right now.
We should all be concerned over the "privacy issue". We are paying providers and should demand privacy.
Let them spend some of their profits defending our rights to privacy from the government.
SBC by any other name is still SBC - Sadistic, Bad, Cruddy!
CNNMoney.com Comment Policy: CNNMoney.com encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNNMoney.com makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNNMoney.com may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNNMoney.com the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNNMoney.com Privacy Statement.