The IP Community Needs a Little Privacy
Perhaps, I have written about this before but after discovering the FCC broadband test site, I needed to blog on this again. Historically, we have always known that sending information over the Internet meant giving up privacy. We send personal and business information to unknown servers all of the time. We allow unknown sites to deposit cookies on our computers with our permission. And in the case of Google Voice, some of us, not me, agree to allow for all of our conversations to be stored, analyzed and used later for marketing purposes. Finally, we are not outraged when this type of information is shared with the government without the appropriate legal steps taken.
As our personal and professional information moves throughout the ether, why aren't we concerned? Whenever I raise the issue of Google Voice in the office, I am looked at with askance. Is it so unbelievable that I want to use a service and maintain my privacy?
Today, I discovered a new website set up by the federal government to allow consumers to test the speed and quality of their broadband. The site, www.broadband.gov, is useful. Just about any such test site has a valid purpose. However, in accessing the test engine, there is the requirement to put in how you are accessing the Internet (home, business, mobile, etc.) and your physical address. I understand why the government may want to know how we are accessing the Internet. I even understand that FCC funding may be tied to locations accessing the Internet. But a specific address is not required for this type of research. A zip code should suffice.
With outrage quieted, I decided to check and see if the actual company performing the test required any of this information. The FCC sponsored site uses Ookla as the source for the engine. If you choose to go to their website, no information is collected and the results are the same.
Broadvox informs its prospects and customers to test their broadband connectivity to confirm that it is sufficient to support a SIP Trunk all of the time. I may add Ookla as a source but the government's site will not pass this blog again.
Demand some privacy and have great weekend!