NebuAd ISP Partner Gets Grilled by House Subcommittee

NebuAd hearings bring a lashing for Embarq, a Kansas-based ISP, from members of a House subcommittee investigating NebuAd's data gathering and Web privacy policies.

A Kansas-based broadband provider received a lashing from members of a House subcommittee for an opt-out data-gathering operation during NebuAd hearings.

Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, told the ISP, Embarq, he was "troubled by the company's failure to directly inform their consumers of the consumer data-gathering test and the notion that an 'opt-out' option is a sufficient standard for such sweeping data gathering."

Tom Gerke, president and CEO of Embarq, told the subcommittee in a July 23 letter that Embarq partnered with NebuAd for a targeted advertising test that affected about 26,000 high-speed Internet Embarq customers in Gardner, Kan.

Embarq posted a notice on its privacy policy Web site two weeks before the test that said the company would be retaining information about "the Web sites you visit or online searches that you conduct," and provided a URL for people to opt out of the test, he said.

Of the 26,000 customers affected by the test, about 15 subscribers opted out, Gerke said.



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