You can finally opt out and remove Verizon’s “supercookie”

Lindsey Caldwell - Mar 31, 2015, 9:41pm CDT
You can finally opt out and remove Verizon’s “supercookie”

Verizon Wireless is finally letting users completely opt out of its tracking program which uses undeletable tracking codes called “supercookies”. Prior to this, customers no longer received targeted advertizing after opting out from Verizon’s data collection program. Still, customers’ browsing history and metadata was being stored by Verizon. Under its data collection program, Verizon tracks personal data by tagging customers with a unique customer identifier code. This “supercookie” code was un-removable under Verizon’s previous opt-out policy wherein users could halt the gathering of their browsing habits, but they would still be tagged with a customer identifier code. Now, users can ask Verizon to remove their customer ID code supercookie.

Verizon’s has dubbed their tracking program Relevant Mobile Advertising. The title, alone, relays one effect of the program, which is that personalized advertising will be determined by your browsing history. Unbeknownst to most users, once that kind of information is collected, it wouldn’t be too difficult for hackers to exploit it for their own personal benefit.

Verizon’s u-turn in its data collection policy is in response to pressure from the United States Senate as well as consumer advocacy groups. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation had a special interest in Verizon’s consumer privacy practices. They issued a notice to Verizon and demanded the company release details on its privacy practices and data security. It was only after that, that Verizon enacted the ability to opt out of their data collection, completely.

If you’re a Verizon customer and you would like to opt out of the tracking program, there are a couple of ways to change your participation status. You can unsubscribe from Verizon’s data collection scheme through the privacy section of the Verizon website or by calling 1-866-211-0874.

Source: New York Times


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