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AT&T charges $29 more for gigabit fiber that doesn’t watch your Web browsing

AT&T charges 29 more for gigabit fiber that doesn t watch your Web browsing Ars Technica


AT&T offers different prices based on how jealously users guard their privacy. AT&T's $70 per-month pricing for gigabit service is the same price as Google Fiber, but AT&T charges an additional $29 a month to customers who opt out of AT&T's "Internet Preferences" program.

AT&T says it 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... AT&T Internet Preferences works independently of your browser's privacy settings regarding cookies, do-not-track, and private browsing. If you opt-in to AT&T Internet Preferences, AT&T will still be able to collect and use your Web browsing information independent of those settings."

Keeping tabs on the customer's Web browsing lets AT&T serve advertisements targeted to individual users.

"Using the IP address assigned to each GigaPower account, AT&T scans for your AT&T Internet Preferences election," the company says. "AT&T will treat your Internet browsing activity in accordance with your election. If you chose to participate in the AT&T Internet Preferences program, your Internet traffic is routed to AT&T's Internet Preferences web browsing and analytics platform. If you chose not to participate in the AT&T Internet Preferences program, your Internet traffic is not routed to the Internet Preferences analytics platform. AT&T may collect and use web browsing information for other purposes, as described in our Privacy Policy, even if you do not participate in the Internet Preferences program."

Google told Ars that Google Fiber does not track users' browsing history. Google also doesn't offer different pricing levels based on privacy selections made by its fiber customers. But Google already tracks users across its own Web properties regardless of whether they also subscribe to Google Fiber.

"We collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you watch a video on YouTube, visit a website that uses our advertising services, or you view and interact with our ads and content," Google says.

Google Fiber's privacy policy notes that Google does collect additional information from Fiber users, but it doesn't necessarily combine that information with data it collects from usage of other Google services.

Stashed in: Privacy does not exist., Comcast

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I'm guessing Comcast is more like AT&T than Google Fiber. 

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