The future of AT&T is an ad-tracking nightmare hellworld

SOURCE article: http://fortune.com/longform/att-media-company/

Relevant quote:

“Say you and your neighbor are both DirecTV customers and you’re watching the same live program at the same time,” says Brian Lesser, who oversees the vast data-crunching operation that supports this kind of advertising at AT&T. “We can now dynamically change the advertising. Maybe your neighbor’s in the market for a vacation, so they get a vacation ad. You’re in the market for a car, you get a car ad. If you’re watching on your phone, and you’re not at home, we can customize that and maybe you get an ad specific to a car retailer in that location.”

Such targeting has caused privacy headaches for Yahoo, Google, and Facebook, of course. That’s why AT&T requires that customers give permission for use of their data; like those other companies, it anonymizes that data and groups it into audiences—for example, consumers likely to be shopping for a pickup truck—rather than targeting specific individuals. Regardless of how you see a directed car ad, say, AT&T can then use geolocation data from your phone to see if you went to a dealership and possibly use data from the automaker to see if you signed up for a test-drive—and then tell the automaker, “Here’s the specific ROI on that advertising,” says Lesser. AT&T claims marketers are paying four times the usual rate for that kind of advertising.

I can’t imagine this being all that surprising for anyone who follows privacy or internet tech. For the most part, they are adapting bog-standard “digital” ad tech for “linear tv.” The location tracking is somewhat novel; but I am assuming Google already does this. The main difference being that you can avoid Google’s location tracking via LineageOS; there is no way to avoid tracking by your mobile service provider.

Disagree.

  1. Buy a non-contract sim with cash.
  2. Do not provide any personal details when registering.
  3. Never give the number you are issued to anyone, anything or make or accept any calls.
  4. Only ever buy top-ups with cash.
  5. Get a SIP number (Twilio etc.).
  6. Install VoIP (Linphone etc.).
  7. Profit, or at least make it unreasonably hard for that phone to be correlated to you for advertising.

Bonus points for keeping it in a Faraday bag when withing a few miles of your home, Michael Bazzel style.

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You seem to miss this point. This is not purely a technological issue. Sure you might be able through a lot of work to create the illusion of immunity. But a world saturated by this shit is going to effect you in more ways than you can imagine. Where are you going to find friends that having imbibed this shit? What products will there be that don’t presuppose it?