AT&T: We own your personal, confidential data. Not you.

Read it and weep. For people who believe in democracy recent news has been disheartening: warrant-less spying on Americans by the NSA, the Supreme Court’s weakening of the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and police and government agencies using illegally obtained, private information such as phone records. Now AT&T has the audacity to claim they own any confidential information they have about me. Who do they think they are?

I realize this is mainly about CYA–they have been named in class-action suits because of their alleged cooperation with the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance program(s). Still, I was surprised and disturbed recently when a service rep from my phone company asked for my Social Security number to “verify my identity.” I have never provided them with that information, and I protect that number’s privacy fiercely. That number is between parts of the US Government and myself. When doctors ask me for it, for instance, I do not give it. When I am coerced, I use a number that will never be associated with another person because it was used in advertisements, and has never been issued.

Back to the point: why is my phone company spying on me?

Personally, I will never do business with AT&T or its owner SBC ever again.

The opinions expressed in Steve’s Peeves are intended to entertain and uplift. They may not be appropriate for young readers or the satirically challenged. Parental supervision is advised.

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