Your Rights

Tue
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

ISPs Must Ask Before Collecting Personal Data

Internet service providers such as cable companies will no longer be allowed to use or sell personal data about customers without permission. The ban includes details about the sites and apps that a customer uses. It's part of a new set of rules ... issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after a 3-2 vote in favor by commissioners. The rules will be formally published soon, at which point ISPs will have a year to comply, though smaller providers will have a further 12 months after that. Providers will have to tell customers what data they collect, how they use it, and who if ... (view more)

Thu
15
Sep
John Lister's picture

'No Negative Reviews' Clauses Could be Banned

The House of Representatives has passed a bill banning companies from gagging clauses that stop customers leaving online reviews. But the law doesn't mean customers are exempt from libel and related laws. The Consumer Review Fairness Act doesn't ... affect the legality of writing reviews itself. Neither is it anything to do with criminal law. Instead it's all about the terms and conditions that companies insist customers agree to before placing an order. These documents sometimes include a non-disparagement clause that says customers won't publish negative reviews of the companies ... (view more)

Tue
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Fair or Fraud: Hotels Block WiFi, then Gouge Customers

Contractors at a convention center have been fined $718,000 for blocking visitors from using their own mobile data services. Meanwhile the Hilton chain has been fined $25,000 for obstructing an investigation into similar claims. The Hilton case ... began with allegations that the chain's hotel in Anaheim, California used blocking technology to stop users operating mobile hotspots. Those are portable devices which receive a cellular data signal (similar to that used to get Internet access on a smartphone) and turn it into a WiFi signal, which can then be used on laptops or smartphones. A ... (view more)

Wed
13
Aug
John Lister's picture

Comcast Customer Service Under Fire Again

Comcast has been embarrassed yet again by a recording of a call to its customer service team. This time, a representative was caught trying to charge a Comcast customer for repairs , despite the company already promising the work would be done free ... of charge. Last month, Comcast came under fire when another customer repeatedly tried to cancel his Comcast service over the telephone. During the recording, which reportedly lasted eighteen minutes, the customer service representative repeatedly badgered the customer and demanded to know why he wanted to cancel his service. The audio recording was ... (view more)

Wed
19
Mar
John Lister's picture

Privacy Debate: High Tech Cars, Tracking, Info Sharing

Politicians in California are to consider a proposed law that would give drivers more control over what happens to data gathered in their high-tech cars. It's prompted a heated debate between driver clubs and automobile manufacturers. According to ... senator Bill Monning, around one in five new cars are designed to automatically send data to manufacturers. That proportion is expected to grow rapidly in the next 10 years as more cars integrate mobile technology and rely heavily on electronic control systems. (Source: latimes.com ) The type of data collected varies widely. In some cases it ... (view more)

Fri
19
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Virginia Overturns Spam Conviction Citing First Amendment

Virginia's tough anti-spam law has bitten the dust after the state's Supreme Court reversed its own decision in the case of a man who sent ten million messages in just two months. As we reported in March, Jeremy Jaynes was the first American jailed ... for sending spam messages in the US. Though a North Carolina native, he was charged in Virginia because that's where the AOL servers he used are based. Jaynes got a nine year sentence (three years for each of the three counts). Though sending unsolicited messages isn't technically illegal under state law, he was busted because he didn't give his ... (view more)

Mon
11
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Free Tool To Test The Integrity Of Your ISP

As part of a "Test Your ISP" Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is reportedly releasing "Switzerland," a software tool for customers to test the integrity of their Internet communications. The idea is the result of a Federal ... Communications Commission (FCC) action against Comcast for violating the FCC's net neutrality principles. Comcast was recently caught interfering with its subscribers' use of BitTorrent, Gnutella, and other common file-sharing protocols employed by millions of Internet users. In an effort to disrupt certain protocols commonly used for file-sharing, Comcast ... (view more)

Thu
03
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Angry Reaction Forces ISP To Drop Tracking Scheme

A leading cable firm has abandoned plans to monitor its customers' Internet use and sell the results to advertisers. Charter Communications, which is either the third or fourth biggest US cable company (depending on which stats you follow) announced ... the scheme in May. It planned to use the services of NebuAd, a California advertising firm which installs a physical device on an Internet provider's network. This device takes extremely detailed information about each individual customer's web use and then sends relevant adverts directly to their computer as they use the Internet. It's possible ... (view more)

Mon
16
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

ISP Secretly Added Spy Code To Web Sessions

A leaked internal report on a secret trial of eavesdropping and advertising technology from Internet Service Provuder (ISP) British Telecom (BT) reportedly shows that the system crashed some unsuspecting users' browsers, causing a small percentage ... of the 18,000 broadband customers under surveillance to believe they had been infected with adware. The January 2007 report (PDF), published by WikiLeaks shows what can happen when an ISP tampers with raw Internet traffic for its own profit. The leak was revealed weeks after Charter Communications told its users it would be testing similar ... (view more)

Mon
19
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Broadband Users' Activities To Be Monitored

Charter Communications, the fourth largest Internet Service Providers in the United States, has reportedly begun telling some of its 2.7 million broadband users that they'll be monitoring every web site they visit to help web advertisers deliver ... targeted ads. The web-tracking program, dubbed an "enhancement" by Charter, is a pilot program set to begin next month and it appears to be similar to a targeted advertising system in the U.K. developed by Phorm, a London company alleged to have spyware roots. Charter plans to test its program in four markets: Ft. Worth, Texas; San Luis Obispo, ... (view more)

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