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It seems every day I read another article expressing concern how Google/Facebook is trying to track people's activity on the internet and sell/mine their personal browsing data. But I rarely read anything about the same threat from ISPs (Verizon/Comcast/AT&T/AOL). To me, it seems an ISP is an equal if not greater threat to one's privacy. Consider the following:

  • They can see ALL your (unencrypted) traffic, regardless of what site/browser/computer you use
  • They know your real name, address, and credit card #

So why the imbalance?

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closed as off topic by random Jan 30 '11 at 4:37

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1 Answer 1

I think it is in large part because the ISPs are "invisible" except for once a month when you pay your bill. Not to mention that it is very possible to live your entire online life without going to Facebook or to Google (yes, there are alternatives, even if they have somewhat worse results), whereas you have no choice but to use an ISP, most of whom have similar policies. Thus, the battle against Google/Facebook is (slightly) less quixotic; to mandate firm privacy on the ISP level would require an act of Congress, for whom the money of the interests against privacy is flowing more freely...

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