Verizon The Spy

There are two types of companies most people can agree we all hate: cable / ISP companies and cell phone carriers. Verizon, being both, doubly-sucks when news broke of its data collection it's beginning to turn on. They are rolling out something called "Custom Experience" which collects data about your apps and web browsing activity to help “provide you more personalized experiences with Verizon.”

Even worse: Verizon is opting in everyone by default. Yes, if you do nothing, you are giving them permission to collect everything they want on an ongoing basis. Emma Roth at The Verge has more details about this nonsense.

[Verizon] might use your information to, say, present you with an offer that includes music content, or give you a music-related option in its Verizon Up reward program if it knows you like music. Verizon explicitly states that for the more invasive Customer Experience Plus tracking, you “must opt-in to participate and you can change your choice at any time.” Signing up for those Up Rewards, or other promotions with consequences buried in the fine print may have opted customers in unknowingly.

The Verge

Screw that. You can opt out, which of course Verizon doesn't want you to do. Here's the steps you need:

  • In the My Verizon app tap the gear icon.
  • Scroll down and select “Manage privacy settings”. It's under the “Preferences” section.
  • Turn off “Custom Experience” and “Custom Experience Plus.”
  • Go a step further and delete everything Verizon scooped up already. Simply tap “Custom Experience Settings,” and hit “Reset.”

Trafficking in data is big business these days. Many times it can be more lucrative than the product itself a company is selling. Verizon is double-dipping because they are charging subscribers for their service AND also using this data collection to make even more money. It's wrong. Opting in everyone by default is inexcusable.