After uniting over issues with net neutrality, tech leaders are once again coming together to protect the consumers. In an open letter penned to the United States government, AOL, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo are pleading with elected officials to put an end to data collection on the Internet in the age of Edward Snowden and the NSA.
President Barack Obama announced changes to the large-scale electronic surveillance program that has been undertaken by the NSA in an effort to make the program more transparent. Calling it a "rebalancing" of the program, the President announced that the government will be taking steps to make sure that the program isn't being abused and is applied narrowly.
The National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are gathering data directly from Apple and eight other tech companies in the United States. Code-named PRISM, the program collects data directly from the servers of companies including Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo, and YouTube.
Verizon collects a ton of usage and behavioral data on their customers, anonymizes it and then leverages it for marketing and partner programs. If you just signed up with Verizon, say to get a new iPhone 5, you have 30 days to opt-out of the data collection.