Verizon Gets a Tiny Fine from FCC for Secretly Tracking Subscribers with No Opt Out

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    [​IMG]

    Verizon is infamous for being a little bit draconian in some of their customer policies over the years. Most of the time, Big Red offers good value for customers, especially considering the high quality of their network. Despite that, sometimes they aren't too consumer friendly in their attempts to find new revenue sources. From extraneous extra fees to pushing customers off of unlimited data plans, their a multiple ways that Verizon has angered their customers over the years.

    One example of that can be found in their aggressive advertising data mining practices. In fact, Verizon just lost a recent case with the FCC over an old issue in which the company was tracking its subscribers data habits secretly and without an option to opt out. This was back in 2014, and Sherlock Holmes might call it "the case of the inedible super-cookies."

    Basically, Verizon's super-cookies tracked every unencrypted website customers visited with their Verizon network mobile device. Furthermore, it was not initially disclosed to customers, and didn't have an opt-out option (at first). Eventually this special tracking cookie was found by hackers and Verizon was called out. The case went to the FCC, and, even though Verizon has since improved their super-cookie policies, it still resulted in a fine against Verizon.

    Of course, the fine turned out to be not even the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. The fine was a meager $1.35 million, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the $34 billion in revenue, and $5.5 billion in profit that Verizon made in their fourth quarter alone. Despite the paltry fine, at least the FCC's process has forced Verizon to clean up their act.

    One other good thing will become of this. Apparently the FCC will be announcing later this month that they have worked new consumer protection policies to specifically address this type of anti-consumer behavior.

    Source: NYTimes
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Powarun

    Powarun Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +46
    Current Phone Model:
    HTC One M8
    I wish that whatever the FCC fine is, they have to rebate all their customers an equitable amount. My thought is a fine is no big deal, people read it, seemed horrified, then move on. The rebate to the customers would make customers think oh wow a rebate, I wonder why this was. I don't like the fine system because its a slap for screwing the customers with no help to their customers.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    8,354
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Trophy Points:
    1,778
    Location:
    NW Rocky Mtn region
    Ratings:
    +6,707
    Current Phone Model:
    Galaxy S7 Edge
    Twitter:
    @dronewolfmedia
    ....carry the 6, subtract 2, yeah....that'll equal out to roughly 13 cents per customer.

    S5 tap'n
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. boidsonly

    boidsonly Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +104
    That's like fining me $1.35........:rolleyes:
     
  5. Powarun

    Powarun Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +46
    Current Phone Model:
    HTC One M8
    Even that much would make Verizon regret it. I don't think they mind fines as much as giving customers money back.
     
  6. kinfolk248

    kinfolk248 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Jackson, Ms
    Ratings:
    +138
    Fines mine nothing because it get written ae a write off AND us/customers are the ones who actually pay it because it just gets passed on, that bill/fine doesn't stop with vzw...
     
  7. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
    Staff Member Rescue Squad

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    24,342
    Likes Received:
    5,346
    Trophy Points:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +5,934
    So in other words expect some random price increase to people's bill of about 13 cents to cover the costs.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    8,354
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Trophy Points:
    1,778
    Location:
    NW Rocky Mtn region
    Ratings:
    +6,707
    Current Phone Model:
    Galaxy S7 Edge
    Twitter:
    @dronewolfmedia
    Exactly. LOL!

    S5 tap'n
     
  9. Mustang02

    Mustang02 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7,625
    Likes Received:
    5,115
    Trophy Points:
    1,563
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +6,073
    Current Phone Model:
    Nexus 6P/5X
    New "regulatory fee" that brings them $2 billion a quarter.