There is a battle between Verizon and AT&T to determine which of the two companies is the most evil. Both companies have gone to tremendous lengths to fuck their customers over but Verizon’s latest ploy may be enough to put it ahead:
Verizon is giving a new mission to its controversial hidden identifier that tracks users of mobile devices. Verizon said in a little-noticed announcement that it will soon begin sharing the profiles with AOL’s ad network, which in turn monitors users across a large swath of the Internet.
That means AOL’s ad network will be able to match millions of Internet users to their real-world details gathered by Verizon, including — “your gender, age range and interests.” AOL’s network is on 40 percent of websites, including on ProPublica.
Here again we see the need for HTTPS everywhere. The key to Verizon’s tracking technology is its ability to inject a tracking number into its customers’ web traffic. HTTPS is not only good at preventing people in the middle of a client-server communication from seeing content. It’s also good at preventing people in the middle from altering the content in any way.
Verizon’s tracking technology works by exploiting the fact insecure web traffic can be modified. The modification, in this case, is including a traffic number, that is invisible to the user, into a customer’s web traffic. This is made possible by the fact Verizon, the customer’s Internet service provide, sits in the middle of all communications between its customers and the Internet. By using HTTPS to secure the connect between the customer and websites on the Internet Verizon can no longer alter the traffic and therefore cannot inject its tracking number.
I’m obviously beating a dead horse on this one but I will continue to do so until every website using HTTPS exclusively.