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Verizon Wireless Lets Customers Opt Out of Tracking 'Perma-Cookies'

Last year, Verizon and AT&T made headlines when researchers discovered they had been engaging in some unsavory customer tracking techniques, using unique identifier numbers or "perma-cookies" to track the websites that customers visited on their cellular devices to deliver targeted advertisements, a practice called "Relevant Advertising."

Following customer backlash, AT&T stopped using the hidden web tracking codes to keep tabs on the websites that its customers visited, but Verizon continued on with its Relevant Advertising program, which it's been using for approximately two years. While there was an option to opt out of Verizon's program, opting out did not stop the intrusive code from being inserted into the URLs of Verizon customers, leaving a security hole that could let advertisers exploit Verizon customers.

verizontracking
As of today, The New York Times reports that Verizon has given its customers a true opt out option that does not insert the identifying tracking codes (or UIDH) into the URLs of customers who opt not to be tracked, as it promised to do in January.
In a statement, Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, said privacy is a "central consideration" for the company when it develops new products and services.

"As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus," Ms. Lewis said. "As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs.
Verizon customers can opt out of the Relevant Advertising program by logging into their My Verizon accounts and selecting "Manage Privacy Settings" from the "Manage My Account" section of their user profile. AT&T and Verizon customers are able to check whether their devices are sending identifying codes by visiting a website created by Kenneth White, one of the security researchers who originally discovered the tracking methods. Verizon's tracking programs are automatic opt-in, so many users may need to navigate to the aforementioned page to turn off the tracking.



Top Rated Comments

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51 months ago
Thanks for the heads up MR. Just opted out.
Rating: 9 Votes
51 months ago
Shame there is no way to opt-out of Google or Facebook tracking.
Rating: 7 Votes
51 months ago
I wish more people would take notice that merely opting out with the language these companies use does not say they will not do it, delete things, stop doing it and will NOT track in any way... They are most likely still recording every single interaction and site.

"Don't use my information for aggregate reports."


:confused:
Rating: 4 Votes
51 months ago
"As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs."

"...Hackers, however, have full access."

:D
Rating: 4 Votes
51 months ago
Pardon my language, but what a bunch of *******s.

Crap like this should be "opt in" not "opt out" because the bulk of the population isn't tech savvy enough to even know about this, let alone figure out how to opt out.
Rating: 4 Votes
51 months ago
"Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, said privacy is a 'central consideration' for the company when it develops new products and services."

If she meant they think "how can we maximize our profit from using our customers' private data", then sure. Otherwise that's laughable, as the opposite is obviously the case.
Rating: 3 Votes
51 months ago
QUOTE: In a statement, Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, said privacy is a "central consideration" for the company when it develops new products and services.

Only after Verizon gets serious backlash for its privacy policies.
Rating: 2 Votes
51 months ago
Somebody should go to jail for this
Rating: 2 Votes
51 months ago
I don't my any of this...

It only exists to track users, so "opt-in", "opt-out" doesn't really matter cos they do what they want.

By opting out, (if that even works), It only (like most advertising) gives you the appearance of making the user happy..... Under the hood, i bet Verizon is up to no good at something else, since they have you anyway.

Why would they just 'let u go' ? They have you.

Another way would be to "opt in" but companies reckon they are dong us all a favor. Well,, i'll do them a favor to by proving them fake info at sign up :) Net gain,,,, they can go nuts if they want.
Rating: 2 Votes
51 months ago
Disable your ad blocker

Folks, just a heads up. The opt-out section in the screenshot of this blog post is the wrong section. You are looking for the "Relevant Mobile Advertising" section beneath it.

You need to disable any ad blockers for the opt out section to be visible. They chose to use the ".contentAds" class name for the opt-out UI, which is hidden by EasyList, which is the database used by almost every ad blocker there is. If you have an ad blocker enabled, the "Relevant Mobile Advertising" section is empty with no opt-out beneath it.
Rating: 2 Votes

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