AT&T has phased out a controversial tracking program it used that inserted identification tags without an opt-out into users' internet traffic.
ProPublica reports that the telecom company got rid of its tracking IDs following media criticism. AT&T maintained that it never had an official program that used this type of tracking, but it did admit to conducting tests. Those tests are now over, the company said.
This is a small win for privacy and good rare example of a major company actually behaving receptively to criticism and making adjustments based on how people respond to its programs. I don't say this often, but AT&T deserves a firm pat on the back and a saucy wink.
Other carriers, however, still have tracking programs that allow third parties to see which websites users visit. That lets those third parties (like say Twitter) build profiles for targeted advertising. At this time there is still no way to completely opt-out of those tracking programs. [ProPublica]