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AT&T retroactively adjusts privacy policy

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Effectively exposed as a subcontractor for the National Security Agency's data harvesting program, AT&T has chosen now to impose a new privacy policy on its subscribers.

In place of a promise that AT&T would only disclose phone records to "respond to subpoenas, court orders or other legal process, to the extent required and/or permitted by law", comes a much more loosely worded qualification.

In the revised version AT&T says it "may disclose such records to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

A class action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T alleges that the company opened 300 TB of caller information to the NSA, in violation of confidentiality agreements with customers. The case continues in a San Francisco court tomorrow.

AT&T also wants the right to record and track its subscribers TV viewing habits, a right afforded to TiVO but denied to cable companies.

An AT&T spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle's David Lazerus that "our goal was to make the policy easier to read and easier for customers to understand." And harder for them to sue AT&T. ®

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