XMission Strongly Defends Customers' Right to Privacy
Salt Lake City, UT (April 24, 2008)–Today, XMission—Utah’s largest independent Internet service provider— reiterated its promise to customers to never sell their Internet usage patterns to advertisers, nor allow government access to customer information without proper court orders signed by a judge.
XMission decided to reiterate its commitment publicly because of the recent Washington Post article entitled “Every Click You Make” which exposed the practice of some Internet service providers using data harvesting and deep packet inspection to determine user interests and behavior. XMission also hopes to reassure customers in light of the admissions by Verizon and AT&T of providing the National Security Agency with private customer data .
According to XMission president and CEO, Pete Ashdown, Internet service providers should not violate the trust of their customers, who assume that their communications are private: “ Who wants an ISP that monitors your activities, reads your email, and sells your information to the highest bidder? I don't, which is why XMission does not engage in this behavior.”
ISPs around the world have started inspecting customer data packets—which include information about every page accessed, every email sent, every search term entered—and then selling these trends to advertisers who use the information to create more targeted online advertising, according to the Washington Post,.
While the advertiser does not apparently have access to personal information, they can target advertising to specific IP addresses. At present, ISPs have experimented with this practice on as many as 10% of U.S. customers without their consent.
"XMission treats the privacy of our customers as if it were our own,” said Ashdown. “Our staff is committed to protecting their privacy and makes sure that only a proper court order will allow information out of our hands."
With the convergence of phone, video, and data services, ISPs have more access to personal information than ever before. XMission will roll out digital telephone services over DSL and UTOPIA in the coming weeks.
XMission, according to Ashdown, believes that all adults have the right to unrestricted Internet access without surveillance. If the customer uses that freedom to break the law, XMission will certainly cooperate with authorities, as long as they have the necessary warrants.
"It is discouraging to see the protection of individual privacy withering to corporate interest in America. XMission is proud to be acting assuredly in favor of our customer interest,” said Ashdown.