AT&T, like other companies, understands that online advertising is an intrinsic part of the broadband era business model (along with subscriber charges, transaction fees, etc.). A number of reporters, charming cynics as they may be, are convinced that AT&T’s recent calls for some type of opt-in is merely a form of Google bashing (it’s really Google envy!). But, as this trade story describes below, AT&T wants to better cash in on online ad revenues). It underscores why Congress must enact opt-in rules and other safeguards to govern ISP data collection, profiling, and targeting–especially across platforms. It also suggests a flaw in how the new AT&T supported Future of Privacy Forum envisions safeguards. They are quoted in The New York Times saying they want “to move the debate beyond opt-in versus opt-out,”–meaning self-regulation would rule–or ruin–the data driven day. Here’s an excerpt from CED magazine on AT&T’s new restructuring plan so Internet ads can play a more prominent role:
“AT&T’s Advertising & Publishing business unit has been renamed AT&T Advertising Solutions and is responsible for all of AT&Tâ€™s advertising sales, according to the company, to take advantage of advertising opportunities that cut across print, Internet, TV and wireless. Meanwhile, AT&T’s Yellowpages.com business unit has been renamed AT&T Interactive. That operation gets expanded responsibility for the development, management and delivery of online and mobile advertising products across all of AT&T’s media platforms. AT&T Interactive is responsible for online and mobile advertising inventory and offerings.”
source: “AT&T realigns ad operations.” Brian Santo. CEDMagazine.com November 20, 2008.