How to Opt Out of AT&T’s Privacy Policy Changes for Your Phone


AT&T saw Facebook, Google, and Verizon doing it and making gobs of cash, so they finally figured they want in. A proposed change to AT&T’s privacy policy sheds light on a new plan to sell users’ information to marketers, with the data released in grouped, anonymized chunks of people.

For now, AT&T users will be put into groups by demographics and location data – if your “group” happens to go to the bowling alley a lot, you might get bowling alley ads, even if you don’t bowl. So, that wouldn’t constitute personalized, targeted ads, exactly, but let’s be honest – just one more privacy policy change a few years from now, and we’re there. After all, if you’re going to do something most of your customers don’t like, might as well do it slow and steady. No need to be the hare.

Back to the matter at hand, the information AT&T will be shilling to marketers everywhere will include location, Web browsing, app usage, age, and gender. Of course, the “service” to you, the customer, is better ads, which everyone has just been begging for. After all, now, if AT&T can tell you’re in a group of movie fans, you’ll get ads for new movies! Never mind that that’s ridiculous, because most “movie fans” probably know all about the new movies they want to see long, long before they’re going to see any of these ads, and already know how to sniff out local deals. But, it will make AT&T money, so onwards and upwards.

Fortunately, you can opt out of the program using AT&T’s website, but more and more, it looks like those concerned about privacy are fighting a losing battle, even if it’s one worth fighting. It’s not the invasion of privacy that’s sad anymore, though. It’s that our own personal lives have become economic engines that corporations can suck on like leeches. The commoditization of the human being continues apace.


One Comment