AT&T may be able to out do Google when it comes to serving targeted ads according to an article on Ars Technica. Apparently AT&T watches everything that their customers do. In some areas you can pay more apparently and that allows you to get some privacy back.
From the article:
If you have AT&T’s gigabit Internet service and wonder why it seems so affordable, here’s the reason—AT&T is boosting profits by rerouting all your Web browsing to an in-house traffic scanning platform, analyzing your Internet habits, then using the results to deliver personalized ads to the websites you visit, e-mail to your inbox, and junk mail to your front door.
In a few select areas including Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri—places where AT&T competes against the $70-per-month Google Fiber—Ma Bell offers its own $70-per-month “GigaPower” fiber-to-the-home Internet access. But signing up for the deal also opts customers in to AT&T’s “Internet Preferences” program, which gives the company permission to examine each customer’s Web traffic in exchange for a price that matches Google’s.
AT&T charges at least another $29 a month ($99 total) to provide standalone Internet service that doesn’t perform this extra scanning of your Web traffic. The privacy fee can balloon to more than $60 for bundles including TV or phone service. Certain modem rental and installation fees also apply only to service plans without Internet Preferences.
AT&T says Internet Preferences tracks “the webpages you visit, the time you spend on each, the links or ads you see and follow, and the search terms you enter.” This helps AT&T serve ads targeted to each user based on that person’s interests. And advertisers are willing to pay more when they know their ads will be shown only to the people most likely to be interested in their products.
Read the full article on Ars Technica