Google wants you to know you’re being watched. Or rather, the company wants you to know how and when the police get to watch what you do online.
For the first time, the company has posted its policies for when it gives up your information to the government. It’s part of a broader company strategy to push for tougher privacy laws.
These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps
Holy fucking shit. They have made a business out of wiretapping cellphones. This reads like an a la carte menu.
- Wiretaps cost hundreds of dollars per target every month, generally paid at daily or monthly rates. To wiretap a customer’s phone, T-Mobile charges law enforcement a flat fee of $500 per target. Sprint’s wireless carrier Sprint Nextel requires police pay $400 per “market area” and per “technology” as well as a $10 per day fee, capped at $2,000. AT&T charges a $325 activation fee, plus $5 per day for data and $10 for audio. Verizon charges a $50 administrative fee plus $700 per month, per target.
- Data requests for voicemail or text messages cost extra.AT&T demands $150 for access to a target’s voicemail, while Verizon charges $50 for access to text messages. Sprint offers the most detailed breakdown of fees for various kinds of data on a phone, asking $120 for pictures or video, $60 for email, $60 for voice mail and $30 for text messages.
And then they try and pass that off as COGS recovery?
“Fees are charged to law enforcement in other circumstances such as court ordered requests and it’s important to note that any fee charged is for recovery of cost required to support these law enforcement requests 24/7,” she writes.
I’m not buying that. That’s way too low of a price, and way too cleanly packaged. If these companies cared about their customer and their privacy, they would be making it painful and confusing to get access. They wouldn’t have a clean price structure. These companies want the government business.
Google announced Tuesday that it will integrate users’ information across Gmail, YouTube, search and 57 other Google services.
Google privacy director Alma Whitten, who explained the changes in a company blog post released in the afternoon, said the company will “treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”
What is Google doing? In a nutshell, Google is taking information from almost all of your Google services — including Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and search — and integrating the data so that they can learn more about you. (Information from Google Books, Google Wallet and Google Chrome will not be integrated, partly for legal reasons.)