Verizon to start targeted advertising this week, will be optional

If you're a customer of Verizon's, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for an email, text message, or notification mentioning the carrier's new "Verizon Selects" program. In exchange for sharing your data usage, such as location, web browsing, and mobile app usage data, you'll get targeted advertisements delivered to you by either email, text messages, or other forms of mobile advertising.

Right off the bat, this definitely seems unsettling. However, Verizon is making the entire program optional, so when they ask you if you want to take part in the program, you can simply reply with a "no" and Verizon will leave you alone. Granted, the carrier probably didn't want it to be optional, but they were mostly likely forced to ask customers.

Opting in, though, will score you a coupon or "some other form of reward" from Verizon. Whether or not the coupon or reward will be worth giving up your data is still yet to be seen, but most likely, it isn't worth it. Customers will probably want to know what coupons they're getting in return before handing their data over anyway.

For what it's worth, we're extremely skeptical that any customer would be willing to voluntarily hand over their usage information in return for a coupon, let alone more annoying marketing notifications, but at least Verizon is asking instead of simply forcing it on us. Offering an opting-in option is always the way to go, but a lot of companies still aren't there yet, and they may never be.