Protecting Privacy in a Mobile World

Posted by: Bob Quinn on July 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

On Friday, we filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on privacy issues in today’s mobile world.  In May, the Commission put out a public notice seeking information on the measures wireless service providers take to protect customers’ information on mobile devices. As the Commission acknowledges, the wireless marketplace today is a far cry from what it was five years ago when the agency last looked into this area.
 
In addition to wireless service providers, the whole wireless ecosystem has evolved to include device manufacturers, OS and social networking platform providers, search engines and browsers, and application developers – all of whom play critical roles in protecting the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information.
 
Think about the extraordinary range of services available to consumers on their mobile device these days, including talking on the phone, sending e-mails and text messages, a dizzying array of apps, posting on their favorite social networking site, surfing the Internet to see what their favorite bloggers have to say, tweeting or following their friends’ tweets, watching videos, listening to music, seeing what great restaurants are nearby, getting directions on a map to that new boutique your friend just tweeted on, sharing and storing photos, and much more.

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Administration’s White Paper On
Privacy Strikes Positive Tone

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

By Jeff Brueggeman, AT&T Vice President of Public Policy and Deputy Chief Privacy Officer

Collaboration, consensus and consistency are key design principles in developing good public policy.  And we’re encouraged that a white paper issued yesterday by President Obama’s Administration embraces those principles.

All of us have a stake in the Internet ecosystem – whether it’s companies that provide connectivity or communications services, governments, app developers, small and large businesses and average consumers, who are constantly finding new and innovative ways to enhance their lives using the Internet.

That’s why it’s critically important that we approach Internet privacy from a holistic perspective that reassures consumers their privacy is protected whenever they use the Internet, regardless of platform or service provider. 

At AT&T, our privacy commitments are fundamental to the way we do business every day. We are committed to keeping our customers’ personal information safe and to transparency when communicating with them about privacy.  We also give our customers choices and tools so they can manage their security and privacy.  For example, our FamilyMap app requires the user to opt in to the use of their location and we send periodic notices to the devices that can be located by FamilyMap, as well as providing easy-to-use controls.

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Building a Responsible
Online Community

Posted by: Brent Olson on November 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Ninety four percent of parents who have teenagers say they have talked with their kids about online behavior and what things should and should not be shared while online, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.  And 93 percent of parents talk with their kids about ways to safely use the Internet as well as their cellphones.  Do those figures sound more impressive than you might have expected?  Well, the kids themselves validate them with 86% saying they have received advice from their parents about being responsible online.  

These are just a very small sampling of the incredibly rich data points that were shared at the onset of the 5th Annual Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Conference, which was held last week in Washington, D.C.  This year’s theme was “Evaluate, Innovate, Collaborate:  Strategies for Safe and Healthy Online Use.”  The conference opened with Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with the Pew Center, sharing the group’s findings from a study titled “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites.”  The theme of how kids and teens act and interact online was the central subject throughout the conference with much discussion about how industry, government, non-profit organizations, educators, parents and kids can work together to help keep the online space both a vibrant and safe one for all users. 

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Sharing Responsibility for Cybersecurity

Posted by: Chris Boyer on October 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

In October, when most people are thinking of pumpkins and changing leaves, we’re thinking of cybersecurity and we’re not alone.  Joining with other members of the industry, government and non-profit organizations, we’re celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Earlier today, I participated in the official kickoff event for the month, the 2011 Michigan Cyber Summit, which AT&T sponsored.  The event was hosted by Governor Rick Snyder and included speakers such as Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, and Congressmen John Dingell, Mike Rogers, and Hansen Clarke. 

The theme for this year, which was echoed throughout the event, is “shared responsibility” – everyone can play a role in helping our cyberspace stay secure.  We agree and that’s why we not only work hard to keep our networks safe, but we make sure consumers have the information and tools they need as well to help themselves stay safe online.

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Keeping Up with Technology…and Kids

Posted by: Brent Olson on September 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

It almost goes without saying that most kids are savvier than their parents when it comes to being online.  But, in a first-of-its-kind research survey conducted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), in collaboration with Hart Research Associates, new data suggests that parents may finally be gaining ground.   FOSI announced the results of the survey today at the National Press Club and I had the opportunity to participate on a panel with representatives from Microsoft, Google and Verizon to discuss the encouraging results and the lessons we can draw from them in our efforts to make sure parents have the knowledge and resources they need to help keep their kids safe online. 

Sponsored by AT&T, Verizon, Google and Microsoft, the survey was conducted in July and involved more than 700 parents with kids between the ages of 8 and 17.  The survey addresses a wide variety of issues and I encourage you to read the results yourself to get the complete picture.  But a few are worth pointing out.  According to the survey, 86% of parents feel their child is “very” or “somewhat safe” online.  That statistic alone shows how far we’ve come from the day when the Internet was the “great unknown” that many parents feared.  As you’d expect, parents are still concerned about their kids’ safety online but overall most appear to be knowledgeable and feel empowered to do something about it.  In fact, according to the survey, 87% of parents say that they are aware of at least one type of parental control and more than 50% say they have used one.

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