The telecom providers had argued the rules put them at a competitive disadvantage to online ad giants Google and Facebook,which generally aren’t regulated by the FCC.
Google and Facebook have built huge businesses powered by reams of data they collect about consumers’ online actions, both on their own properties and across the web. That trove of information largely explains their dominance -- combined, they have a roughly 47% share of the global digital ad market, according to eMarketer. – Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal
But what really has me surprised is that Android users would be up in arms about the FCC rules change. Are they not aware that Republicans are simply leveling the playing field so that Comcast and AT&T are able to do the same thing as Google? For years, Google has been tracking web surfers’ online habits and then selling targeted ads to people who want to reach their demographic. Comcast wants to do the same thing.
The question is should it be illegal? If you say “no”, then shut up and quit your bellyachin’. If you say “yes”, then Congress should stop Google and Facebook from doing it as well. There is no middle ground here. Either companies should be allowed to profit from the data they acquire from you or they shouldn’t. Why is Google given a special status whereas AT&T isn’t?
Oh, but Google doesn’t reveal my name you say? It’s doubtful that Comcast or AT&T would act much differently in regards to your privacy. In the short term, names are not revealed so that the advertiser can’t bypass the seller and go directly to potential customers. Besides, AT&T doesn’t want to cause a mass switch to a rival provider, so competitive pressures will keep these guys in check for the near future.
That’s what keeps Google honest, the existence of a privacy-minded alternative. Not the government.