Look at What ISPs Know About You: Examining the Privacy Practices of Six Major Internet Service Providers   [open pdf - 5MB]

From the Executive Summary: "The importance of the internet in the daily lives of consumers cannot be overstated. In its relatively brief existence, it has become a vital tool for communication, information, commerce, and entertainment. [...] As the direct gateways to this essential and ubiquitous tool, internet service providers ('ISPs') can monitor and record their customers' every online move, giving them the ability to surveil consumers and amass large amounts of information on them as they go about their daily lives. In addition to providing internet, voice, and cable access, these gatekeepers have also become major players in content creation and ad monetization. [...] In August 2019, the Federal Trade Commission ('FTC' or 'Commission') issued identical Orders to File Special Reports ('Orders') under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act to the country's six largest ISPs (AT&T Mobility LLC, Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Charter Communications Operating LLC, Comcast Cable Communications d/b/a Xfinity, T-Mobile US Inc., and Google Fiber Inc.)--comprising approximately 98.8 % of the mobile internet market --and three advertising entities affiliated with these ISPs (AT&T's Appnexus Inc.--rebranded as Xandr--and Verizon's Verizon Online LLC and Oath Americas Inc.--rebranded as Verizon Media). [...] This report summarizes the information provided in response to the Commission's Orders, including information gathered through follow-up questions and meetings. The companies' narrative responses and several detailed data sets provide remarkable insight into how many of the ISPs8 in our study surveil consumers, use and disseminate consumer data, and the privacy implications of such use and dissemination. Based on this data, publicly-available materials, and the Commission's long experience with ISPs, this report highlights the ISP industry's data surveillance and privacy practices."

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftc.gov/
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