Comcast to stop tracking Internet customers


Cable MSO Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that it would no longer record the
Web-browsing activity of its high-speed Internet customers after Rep. Ed Markey
(D-Mass.) and other privacy advocates complained about the practice.

Comcast said it began recording customer activity about one month ago as a
way to track and improve service.

Comcast had to take over its high-speed Internet offering after cable
Internet provider Excite@Home Corp. went bankrupt six weeks ago.

'This information has never been connected to individual subscribers and has
been purged automatically to protect subscriber privacy,' Comcast Cable
Communications Inc. president Stephen Burke said. 'Beginning immediately, we
will stop storing this individual customer information in order to completely
reassure our customers that the privacy of their information is secure.'

Markey, ranking member of the House Telecommunications and Internet
Subcommittee, was quick to remind Comcast that collecting customer information
without permission is against the law, specifically the Communications Act.

'I have concerns about the allegations raised in these reports and the nature
and extent of any transgressions of the law that may have resulted in consumer
privacy being compromised,' Markey wrote.