Embarq told subs of NebuAd test via Web site

Independent telco Embarq told legislators looking into service provider use of deep packet inspection and potential online privacy breaches that it had notified broadband customers more than two weeks prior to its NebuAd DPI test in Gardner, Kan., by posting the notice in its privacy policy on its company Web site. That test occurred earlier this year.

The telco said in letters addressed to the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating Web tracking issues that it informed customers it was conducting a targeted advertising test using information gained from monitoring anonymous Web-surfing behavior, and offered them the ability to opt out, according to a story at The Washington Post. About 15 of 26,000 broadband actually opted out of the test.

What do you think? Did so few people mind that their Web browsing might be tracked? Rep. Edward Markey (D.-Mass) and other committee members are already suggesting Embarq should have used a more direct approach. The admission by Embarq will add further fuel to Markey's attempt to force service providers to use opt-in policies for such tests rather than opt-out offers. Either way, it would not be surprising to see service providers adopt more aggressive informational campaigns as they pursue such tests in the future--if they pursue them.

For more:
- read this story at The Washington Post