Verizon is tracking Web browsing habits to serve 'better' ads

Watch out, Verizon just flipped a major privacy switch and it's not exactly anything to smile about. According to its new policy, Verizon will use data it collects to improve marketing reports and to provide more relevant ads to its customers. This is going to upset a lot of people.

The new change forces every Verizon wireless customer to be automatically opted in. If you want to opt-out, you can sign up here or call 1-866-211-0874.

Without holding up a huge ALERT! banner, it's almost a given most people won't even know Verizon's mining their data.

Here's what data Verizon is collecting:

Mobile Usage Information:

  • Addresses of websites you visit when using our wireless service. These data strings (or URLs) may include search terms you have used

  • Location of your device ("Location Information")

  • App and device feature usage

Consumer Information:

  • Information about your use of Verizon products and services (such as data and calling features, device type, and amount of use)

  • Demographic and interest categories provided to us by other companies, such as gender, age range, sports fan, frequent diner, or pet owner ("Demographics")

Verizon says it won't be sharing any info that would identify your personal identity, but it's still unsettling news. Even if Verizon is not sharing your name or address to in reports, it has those detailed reports on you on file — dispensable at any time it feels like changing its policy again.

The question is whether or not Verizon will think I want more smutty ads if it knows I'm viewing lots of smutty material, because that would just seem wrong.

Verizon, via Computerworld

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