AT&T thinks that Austin, TX residents will sell their on-line privacy for less than $20 per month. AT&T is launching a service called U-verse with GigaPower, which will provide 300Mbps of bandwidth to the home initially, increasing to 1Gbps in 2014. The cost of the service is $99 per month, but they have a special offer.
If you sign up for the Premier plan you can get the service for $70 per month. Additionally a bunch of setup and install fees are waived and you get free HBO. If you follow the footnote on the offer, you will see that Premier is only available if you agree to participate in the “AT&T Internet Preferences” program.
This invites AT&T to monitor your Internet usage to better profile you and so more effectively target ads at you.
GIGAOM reports that AT&T says "we will not collect information from secure (https) or otherwise encrypted sites, such as online banking or when a credit card is used to buy something online on a secure site. And we won’t sell your personal information to anyone, for any reason.”
I am pleased that they are not doing active man in the middle attacks on customer encryption, but that is a very very low privacy hurdle.
So, is $20 per month enough for you to allow AT&T to monitor, record, and monetize everything you on the Internet? Let me know if the comments.
Of course, if you use Anonymizer Universal for all of your on-line activity, there is nothing for them to see.