AT&T's New Privacy Policy: Full Disclosure


As of Friday, AT&T's 'privacy policy' will seek to avoid the inconvenience inherent in claiming to provide any actual privacy in this tap-happy world. Instead, Ma Bell promises Pavlovian ass-kissing disclosure the second the NSA comes knocking. The SF Chronicle reports:

The new policy says that AT&T—not customers—owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

Moreover, AT&T (formerly known as SBC) is requiring customers to agree to its updated privacy policy as a condition for service—a new move that legal experts say will reduce customers' recourse for any future data sharing with government authorities or others….

The new policy states that AT&T "may also use your information in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud (or) situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person"—conditions that would appear to embrace any terror-related circumstance.

A rep explains that the change has nothing to do with awkward recent events and everything to do with half-literate customers:

"We don't see this as anything new," [spokesman John Britton] said. "Our goal was to make the policy easier to read and easier for customers to understand."

Reason staff gave the NSA something to listen to back in May.