Reply To: 5 Mar 16 – Billboards can track your location
I hate oligopolies. Yet I don’t know what the fix is. Cellular carriers spend a king’s treasure to build out cell towers/sites, and all of them must basically share the limited resource that is available radio spectrum. Therefore, nationally, you have the big two, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, and to a lesser extent but still doing fairly well, T-Mobile USA and Sprint/Softbank. That’s SOME choice, but not a heckuva lot. Plus you MIGHT have some regionals (MetroPCS comes to mind), but if you travel much beyond your home, you’ll have to roam on one of the big four, and there’s no guarantee your regional has roaming agreements with ANY of the nationals.
All this is to say, if you don’t like AT&T Mobility’s selling of your whereabouts (if only in aggregate) to iHeartMedia, what are you going to do? Bring your business to Verizon Wireless? But if you do that, you could have carrier-inserted supercookies.
Much as I wish market forces could stop such practices, it’s impractical to think we can simply vote with our wallets. It seems the allure of alternate cash streams is just too great for any of the carriers to resist. Then what do we need to do, pass laws making this opt-in? The carriers’ lobbyists will lean on lawmakers not to do that.