At the Ref Desk (9/16/20): Worst thing about chat reference : the number of times you get cut off. Sucks. [more...]

No Dear, ISPs Are Not Websites

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 4/5/17 (10:19am)

Snider, Mike: "ISPs Can Now Collect and Sell Your Data: What to Know About Internet Privacy Rules", USA Today (4/4/2017).

So here's an analogy: if 50 years ago AT&T (or whatever they called themselves back then) had kept records of all your phone calls and then started selling that information to the highest bidder -- would they have gotten away with it? I don't think so. (In fact, interesting research topic.)

ISPs are not websites. They're governed by different rules, regulated by different agencies and golly-molly, ya just can't get on the internet without them. That makes them a utility and frankly, there's no similarity to Facebook, Google, etc.

But, hey, we're living in a free country! There's nothing keeping those ISPs from setting up their own groovy websites so they can take advantage of the same benefits. Problem solved!


by Leo Klein on Wed, 4/5/17 (10:43am)

P.S. According to this same logic, why can't Windows or Macintosh, Android or iPhone -- why can't they collect and sell data on you as well?

by Leo Klein on Fri, 4/7/17 (12:27pm)

[Why Am I Not Surprised?]


Your local, long distance and wireless phone companies, as well as IP service providers, collect customer proprietary network information, such as the numbers you call and when you call them, as well as the particular services you use, such as call forwarding or voice mail. Telephone companies may use, disclose, or permit access to this information in these circumstances:

  • As required by law.
  • With your approval.
  • In providing the service from which the customer information was obtained.