I don't know what the man is talking about; I have only one choice of broadband provider - Comcast. At my last residence, I had only one choice of broadband provider - Verizon. Is he saying that I have "choice" because I can relocate my household if I want to change ISPs?
Service providers are in privileged positions:
Doctors, lawyers, banks, telephones, internet
Because of those privileged positions, service providers are limited in what they can do with the private information they are privy to through their privileged position
Imagine if your doctor, while treating you, was building a profile of your particular health problems, your family life, and any other personal information that they could gather from you through their conversations with you about medical problems, possible causes, and potential solutions. Imagine then if your doctor then used this profile to send you targeted advertisements in the mail, and made automated phone calls to your phone, trying to sell you goods and services related to what the doctor knew about you from you profile. Further imagine if your doctor was free to sell your profile to anyone else, so that they too could contact you and try to sell you goods and services, or use this information for any other purpose.
Imagine if your lawyer, while helping you with your legal affairs, was building a profile of you and your particular personal and business relationships. Imagine if that lawyer then used that profile to call you up from time to time, and offer to solve other problems that they inferred you had, and to send you e-mail, postal mail, and even automated phone calls advertising their services in areas that they thought you might need based on their personal knowledge of you. Imagine still further if your lawyer made your profile available for sale to others who wanted to know more about you and your personal and business affairs.
Imagine if your bank, privy to all of the entities with whom you exchange payments for personal and business matters, used their knowledge of those payment exchanges to build a profile on you, which they then used to target you and your family for marketing purposes, selling you goods and services they thought you might be interested in based on your current payment exchanges. Imagine still further if they then made this profile available to the whomever else wanted to pay for it, so that these 3rd parties too could understand your personal and business payment relationships, and use that information for whatever purposes these 3rd parties chose.
Imagine if the telephone company was allowed to monitor your daily phone conversations using automated voice to text transcriptions, to amass a profile on you based on who you talked to about what, and then use that information to market goods and services to you that they thought might be helpful or useful to you. Imagine still further that they sold this profile to whomever else wanted to know with whom you spoke, and what you talked about, on a daily and continual basis.
Out of these analogies, the most direct one for internet service providers is to telephone service providers, but all of the others are applicable too, because the information that we communicate through Internet connections includes communications to all of these service providers. Telephone service providers are not allowed to monitor the content of our telephone calls, and they are even limited in what they can do with the signal information (who we are calling). Internet services have a direct logical equivalent to dialing a telephone call and holding a conversation; its the connectionless and connection-oriented streams of data packets that form a logical unit corresponding to a telephone call. If we donâ(TM)t allow telephone companies to monitor our telephone calls and use the information regarding what we talked about (or even who we called), why does it suddenly become âoeokâ to allow an Internet service provider to do so?
An Internet service provider snooping on our streams of data packets is directly analogous to the telephone company wiretapping all of our phone calls, collecting the information on what we talk about and with whom, and using it for their own marketing purposes or selling that data to others. That information includes our conversations with our doctors, our lawyers, our bankers, and more. It is morally reprehensible to even suggest that such behavior from a company in such a privileged position is allowable.