AT&T: All Your Phone Are Belong to Us

If you’re an AT&T customer, you have until this Friday to switch.

After that, you must agree to give them carte blanche ownership of all your phone records, or they shut off your service. Additionally, Ma Bell will track viewers watching its new video program, which cable and satellite operators are forbidden to do.

“While your account information may be personal to you, these records constitute business records that are owned by AT&T,” the company said in a statement.

AT&T has been under fire recently as evidence surfaced of its major complicity in giving the government access to its customers call logs.

Spokesman for the company Marc Bien said there was “no linkage” between the revised policy and recent privacy concerns. Rather, AT&T wishes, “to make our policy much easier to read.”

Some aren’t buying AT&T’s argument.

“They’re obviously trying to avoid a hornet’s nest of consumer-protection lawsuits,” Chris Hoofnagle, a privacy consultant, told the SFGate. “They’ve written this new policy so broadly that they’ve given themselves maximum flexibility when it comes to disclosing customers’ records.”

Time to bust out your price-benefit charts and tinfoil hats.

“AT&T rewrites rules: Your data isn’t yours” [SF Gate] (Thanks to Philip!)