AT&T's plan to watch your Web browsing - and what you can do about it
Want to opt out? It could cost up to $744 extra per year.
by Jon Brodkin
If you have AT&T's gigabit Internet service and wonder why it seems so affordable, here's the reason - AT&T is boosting profits by rerouting all your Web browsing to an in-house traffic scanning platform, analyzing your Internet habits, then using the results to deliver personalized ads to the websites you visit, e-mail to your inbox, and junk mail to your front door.
In a few select areas including Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri - places where AT&T competes against the $70-per-month Google Fiber [offering] - Ma Bell offers its own $70-per-month "GigaPower" fiber-to-the-home Internet access. But signing up for the deal also opts customers in to AT&T's "Internet Preferences" program, which gives the company permission to examine each customer's Web traffic in exchange for a price that matches Google's.