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    Fifteen Privacy and Public Interest Groups Urge Congress to Investigate ISP Ad Targeting

    Disclaimer: I have worked with most of these groups on privacy and civil liberty issues.

    Fifteen privacy and public interest groups including the Center for Democracy & Technology, Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Public Knowledge, have sent a letter (pdf) to Congress urging “hearings on the issue of Internet service providers (ISPs) and their business partners targeting ads to subscribers based on inspections of those subscribers’ Web activities.” The groups specifically referenced Charter Communications’ plan to intercept and inspect their customers’ Internet activity and develop profiles in order to serve targeted advertisements to those customers.

    The letter was sent to House Internet & Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX). The two Congressmen recently sent questions (pdf) to Charter Communications challenging the legality of the ISP’s plan. The Congressmen requested that the company not proceed with its plan until they were able to discuss the proposal and its potential illegalities.

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