AT&T was named as a “most trusted company in privacy” by a survey of 99,000 consumers, according to the Ponemon Institute, an information security research company. AT&T ranked No. 20 in a survey conducted during the fourth quarter of last year. I flew in late last night from San Francisco, so as first I thought I was seeing things. AT&T, the company called out in 2005 for illegal wiretapping on behalf of the U.S. government, was on a list of companies being honored for privacy?
And the revised privacy policies aren’t terrible (the policy promises an opt-in prior to using deep packet inspection to monitor web surfing), although in most cases the policies adhere to existing federal and state privacy rules rather than go above and beyond them.
However, this is a company that blatantly abused its power at the request of the U.S,. government and even sent emails and web-surfing history to federal officials without telling customers and sans a court order. Is a fresh face on standard privacy policies enough to warrant commendations? Regardless, looks like AT&T’s dollars to found the Future of Privacy think tank is money well-spent.
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