TrustPid - A new kind of tracking infrastructure

TrustPid (a nice misleading euphemism) is the next big leap to track my internet activity - this time by the telcos themselves. They routed my IP packets into the internet without touching them in the past. At least as far as I know (keyword: data preservation). This should change now. Now the EU has given its go-ahead to this undertaking.

There is little information on how TrustPid is technically implemented but I believe it's like some kind of Man-In-The-Middle-Attack by the ISPs. Traffic coming from my smartphone or later my home network will be tagged with a token as soon as it leaves my device / local network, which is then shared with participating websites to create profiles for advertising and marketing purposes.

TrustPid: Baking ad tracking into the internet infrastructure (www)

TrustPid homepage (www)

This kind of tracking raises a lot of concerns to me. First of all: This can't be blocked. I don't have any control over what is attached to my IP packets by the provider. Neither can I inspect or audit the packets to see what's going on. It's completely in the dark. And as much as I hate cookies, I can always delete them. With this new technology there is no delete functionality.

I have a lot of questions: Will I get a spying token in any case, even if I never opt-in and it's just not shared with the website in question? Does this only affect traffic to port 443 (HTTPS)? Will I be nagged by every webpage to opt-in over and over again? Will I be able to completely opt-out?

The ISPs advertise TrustPid as privacy and user friendly and it should be transparent to the user. But to be really transparent there must be an option to FULLY opt-out and leave my traffic completely untouched. I bet this won't be possible.

In contrast to the advertising, which says that the user retains "full control" over his/her digital data while browsing the internet (which is a lie), I can't see even one advantage for the users. I don't want my traffic to be manipulated by anyone - never. But as always the user doesn't count. Just another step into surveillance capitalism.

All in all - no fun.



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