This is a question we get asked all the time. I think the answer is not quite as simple as it is made out to be. In reality, as long as you have an open line of sight to your router, you can see what your ISP sees and the actions they take based on that information. This is because your ISP sees the things you search for, the things you go online, what you have read, and the things you share.
Basically what this means is that your ISP can see what websites you go to on a daily basis and what information you are sharing with them too. In fact, the more you share, the more of their information you are sharing. This is why most ISPs make your phone number anonymous, though it is possible to keep your phone number with them (depending on the situation, of course).
ISPs have a lot of power though, because people with no access to the internet have the same rights as the rest of us. ISPs can monitor everything you do while browsing the web on a mobile device. They can monitor what you read online, and they can see what you share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They can see what you search for on Google, YouTube, and other Google properties too. They can see your every text message, IM, and voice call you make.
It’s pretty clear that ISPs can read your text messages, IMs, and voice calls, but that’s not the sort of data that many people are concerned about. The concern is rather about what type of data ISPs can use to monitor your activities on the web (and the rest of your life).
The good news is that ISPs dont usually read your voice calls, IMs, and text messages, but that should change in the future. The bad news is that, if they do read them, it could make people wary of using those services. In other words, imagine a world where your texts, IMs, and voice calls were all monitored by the ISPs for a little while, and then suddenly you were forced to turn them over to the government.
There’s a company called Can I See Your Bill (CIVB) that tracks your internet activity by analyzing the data that they see. Basically, a program that looks at the contents of your web pages, including your web history, and then compares it to the data ISPs have collected from you. You would be surprised how much data can be collected by the ISP itself, and how much it can be used to monitor you.
We’ve all been there. It’s a fact of life, and when you’re doing something with your life, you’re going to be a little paranoid sometimes. You’ve probably never had the feeling of someone watching you, and then suddenly telling you the exact same thing that they told the rest of the world. As you’re searching your web history for something, how much data do you think your ISP holds about you? It’s a good question.
A lot. And that number can actually be quite large. It depends on the ISP, but the average number of people who use a particular ISP is roughly around 200,000. The idea here is to use this data to build a picture of how your internet usage is changing over time, so you can use it to decide the next steps you should take.
The ISP provider also collects a lot of data from your browsing history. This is to help with traffic prioritization, throttling, traffic shaping, and IP address management. When you visit a website, the ISP provider will see that you are on its network and send additional information to the server that you are visiting. It can also track your IP address which helps with network management.
For ISPs, it’s important to differentiate between your internet usage versus what you are actually doing on the internet. Sometimes you’re just trolling the net, so when you go through an internet cafe, the ISP provider may only see that you are using the internet. If you are actually using the internet, the ISP provider may see that you are using their network.