Which ISPs Are Spying on You?

Wired has posted the results of their survey of the major ISPs regarding their tracking and data retention policies. I’ve created a table summarizing the results:


How long do you retain records of the IP addresses assigned to customers? Do you store URLs of the websites that people visit? Do you allow marketers to see anonymized or partially anonymized clickstream data? Have you been in contact or had discussions with the government about how long you should be keeping data? Do you oppose data retention?
AOL
“limited period of time” No No “No comment” “Working with industry & Congress”
AT&T
varies but “within industry standards” No No “No comment” “Ready to work with all parties”
Comcast
No response No response No response No response No response
Cox
6 months No No Says not contacted “Studying the issue”
Earthlink
No response No response No response No response No response
Quest
(no data) Unresponsive Unresponsive Unresponsive “Market should decide”
Time Warner No response No response No response No response No response
Verizon
No response No response No response No response No response

To summarize, only AOL, AT&T, Cox and Quest bothered to respond to Wired’s questions, although Quest was unresponsive and provided “muddled” answers to most questions. Cox was the most forthright, but all of the major ISPs need to become more transparent about their data retention policies and practices.

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