Comcast Cable – charging more to preserve your privacy

** FILE ** A technician for Comcast Corp. heads out on a job in this Feb. 2, 2006 file photo in Salt Lake City. Comcast Corp. shares plunged to a new annual low Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 after the cable operator said 2007 revenue will be lower and expenses higher than previously forecast, citing greater competition and a slowing economy. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

Comcast cable giant thinks your privacy should come with an added fee.

Comcast cable argues that it should be perfectly acceptable to charge customers more if they don’t want to be spied on. It sounds like hyperbole, doesn’t it? Comcast’s statement is quite clear, though. It’s not even the only ISP that thinks so. This dispute came up because AT&T U-verse customers in some markets were subjected to aggressive deep packet inspection to monitor everything they did online. This data was then sold to advertisers. They could opt-out of the innocuously named “internet preferences” snooping… for an extra $30-60 per month. Comcast’s proverbial ears probably perked up at the mention of all that new profit.

comcast cable

Comcast hasn’t launched anything like AT&T U-verse internet preferences, but it definitely wants to have the option to do so. In its FCC filing, the ISP compares tracking its customers to the sort of tracking already going on around the internet. Comcast says a “bargained-for exchange of information” is a common business practice, and ISPs should not be prohibited from striking such deals.

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