Risk
9/26/2008
05:28 PM
50%
50%

ISPs Call For Industry Standards On Behavioral Targeting

Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable pledge to Congress to only monitor activity if users choose to opt in.

Some of the largest ISPs in the United States have vowed not to monitor Internet users' activities without permission.

Representatives from Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable testified at a hearing this week and said their companies do not monitor user behavior in order to target them with custom advertisements. They said they would only monitor activity if users choose to opt in. The companies want other ISPs and search engines to follow suit.

Google has also indicated a willingness to allow consumers the choice to opt out of data collection.

Congress has been examining the issue and most ISPs prefer industry-wide standards over increased federal privacy laws. Several ISPs are working together to adopt self-regulatory guidelines. Although not all of those involved in drafting the guidelines have come forward, those who have said they hope to produce a code of conduct by next year.

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the issue this week, not long after members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent letters to ISPs saying they believed behavioral advertising could threaten consumer privacy.

The public interest advocacy group, Public Knowledge, is calling for legislation to protect consumer privacy. In testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee, Public Knowledge President and co-founder Gigi Sohn said that deep packet inspection (DPI) technology "raises grave privacy concerns."

"To put it simply, Deep Packet Inspection is the Internet equivalent of the postal service reading your mail," she said. "They might be reading your mail for any number of reasons, but the fact remains that your mail is being read by the people whose job it is to deliver it."

Sohn said that ISPs are increasingly reading users' e-mail and storing information for their own use.

"In some cases, ISPs are actually passing copies of the envelopes on to third parties who do the actual reading and use," she said. "In others, ISPs are using the contents to change the normal ways that the Internet works. And for the most part, customers are not aware that their ISPs are engaging in this behavior -- much like if the postal service were to open your letter, photocopy it, hand that copy to a third party and then re-seal the letter, so that you would never know it had even been opened in the first place."

She said any solutions should be comprehensive and ensure that "the basic principles of privacy protection are applied across the entire Internet ecosystem."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "Why else would HR ask me if I have a handicap?"
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.