June 23, 2006

My Privacy Is AT&T’s IP? [3:29 pm]

Concerns Raised Over AT&T Privacy Policy - pdf

Consumer advocates said yesterday that a new privacy policy from AT&T Inc. marks the first time a major telecom company has asserted that customer calling and Internet records are corporate property and raises concerns about how the company tracks consumer behavior and shares data with government and law enforcement agencies.

The new privacy policy is scheduled for release today on the company’s Web site. AT&T said it does not share the data with third-party marketing firms, but it cites circumstances under which it shares customer information with the government and law enforcement. For its broadband Internet customers, the company also makes clear that it will collect information about which Web pages its customers view, how much time is spent on each page and what links are clicked on.

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Will They Find A Middle Ground? [2:51 pm]

Is there such a thing as compromise when it comes to digital restrictions management: France Softens iTunes Law, but Apple Is Still Disgruntled

Leading French lawmakers voted Thursday to water down a draft copyright law that could force Apple Computer to make its iPod music player and iTunes online store compatible with rivals’ offerings.

But the changes did not appear to go far enough to satisfy Apple, which dropped the strongest hint yet that it might withdraw from the French downloading market rather than comply.

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So What’s Next? [2:48 pm]

How far is this going to have turned out go have gone? Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror

The program, however, is a significant departure from typical practice in how the government acquires Americans’ financial records. Treasury officials did not seek individual court-approved warrants or subpoenas to examine specific transactions, instead relying on broad administrative subpoenas for millions of records from the cooperative, known as Swift.

That access to large amounts of confidential data was highly unusual, several officials said, and stirred concerns inside the administration about legal and privacy issues.

“The capability here is awesome or, depending on where you’re sitting, troubling,” said one former senior counterterrorism official who considers the program valuable. While tight controls are in place, the official added, “the potential for abuse is enormous.”

Later: Officials Defend Financial Searches

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