Here’s a big shock: AT&T will start selling customers’ usage data


AT&T(s t) recently updated its privacy policy to reflect a new plan to sell information about how its customers use its wireline and mobile networks to marketers, advertisers and other interested parties. That data will always be anonymously aggregated and AT&T will let any customer opt out.

Ma Bell announced the policy change in a blog post (first spotted by FierceWireless), in which it took pains to point out how this is common practice in the industry and used by internet giants like Google(s goog) and Facebook(s fb) and mobile competitors like Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod). AT&T is right. User data is what makes the web go round. It’s the basis for any targeted ad, and it’s an added revenue source for companies that offer both free and paid services to consumers.

digital data flow through optical wireThe big question is why AT&T didn’t do this sooner. Carriers are sitting on veritable treasure troves…

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