Verizon's Much Hated 'Stalker Cookies' are Back in the News

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    It's been several months since we have heard any peep regarding Verizon's greatly hated "stalker cookies." For those who don't remember it, Verizon has a special tracking cookie in the background of their mobile wireless service that is very hackable. Verizon claims it is only there for its own use, and previously commented that “it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles.” This later turned out to be untrue as a few marketing companies made nefarious use of these cookies.

    New complaints regarding this issue have surfaced. Here's a quote with the details,

    What do you think of this issue? Is it cause for concern or simply more of the same from Big Red?

    Source: BGR
     
  2. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Well, it's what you can expect from them, since because they are SO big and (by way of Bell Atlantic Mobile and other Ma Bells), are really the oldest provider in the market, they feel that everything they do is OK. I love how they say the information can't be used and yet someone has figured out a way to use it. That goes back to something I often say...

    "Never say never."

    "No" and "Yes" are the two most restricting words in the English language and have been the cause of countless problems from wars to divorces to employment terminations to you name it. Things are dynamic in the real analog world, and so to use either "never" or "always" (or any derivative thereof), is to put yourself in the crosshairs of what is more likely the outcome - change. Another saying works well here...

    "Where there's a will, there's a way."

    These data miners are motivated by one common thread, money, and with money being the greatest motivator in the history of mankind, except maybe religion (no, I don't want to get into a religious discussion - forum guidelines prohibit), there's more than enough will so they "will" find a way (pun intended).
     
  3. Tonik

    Tonik Active Member

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    This is a very big deal. VZ is modifying the url you send to every website you go to with a 'number' assigned to just you. So they are enabling websites to track you.

    Turn is a Verizon partner. So if you have opt'd out of third party sharing you have a decent privacy violation complaint. Make that complaint at fcc.gov and also email privacyoffice@verizon.com. This is a big deal, and we need to put a ton of pressure on them. AT&T stopped right away...VZ is seriously saying FU to the rest of us.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  4. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    From EFF.org (love that name! LOL!) How Verizon and Turn Defeat Browser Privacy Protections Electronic Frontier Foundation

    "Update 2014-01-16: Turn announced today they will suspend their zombie cookie program by early February, but left open the possibility to resume in the future. We ask that they end the program permanently."

    LOTS of good reading on that report.

    Looks like Verizon is EFF'd with the release of this information!

    At Turn.com:

    "Consumer privacy and choice are bedrock principles at Turn. We do not handle or store personally identifiable information (for example, name, email, phone number, credit card, SSN) to deliver relevant advertising. We are committed to honoring a user’s choice to opt out of tailored advertising from us.

    That choice can be made via our website, or via industry tools like the NAI or the DAA opt-out pages, including eDAA and DAA Canada. We are confident that our practices, including the re-association of a Turn cookie ID with a Verizon UIDH comply with self-regulatory guidelines and principles regarding consumer opt-out through these tools."​

    May I suggest that everyone visit the opt-out clearing houses mentioned above (our website, or via industry tools like the NAI or the DAA opt-out pages, including eDAA and DAA Canada), and give them a big THUMBS DOWN to reduce your targetet marketing and possibly speed up browsing in the process, as well as increase privacy and stand for freedom of privacy.
     
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  5. Str8Aro

    Str8Aro Active Member

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  6. Str8Aro

    Str8Aro Active Member

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    My apologies FoxKat. We were both posting at the same time. ;)
     
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  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    ROFLOL, no apologies necessary. The more eyes and ears we have out there bringing information to our community the better. You are a trooper and a worker bee, just as I am. We go, collect and bring back for assimilation into the hive. We've both done our jobs extremely well! ;)
     
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  8. Tonik

    Tonik Active Member

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    Slow down on the celebration gang. Turn is not going to use the UIDH but VZ is still putting them in our web requests. So others are still using them, Twitter for example. And many more we don't know about I am sure.

    Need to hammer VZ.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    No doubt to the above. It's a minor victory for the cause but the war is far from over.
     
  10. Tonik

    Tonik Active Member

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    Wooo, this can be beaten easily when web browsing if you use Chrome and turn on 'Google Data Compression' in Chromes settings. When you do that all your surfing is proxied through google's servers.
     
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  11. cooba

    cooba New Member

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    Would using a VPN or OpenDNS block their uncontrollable prying eyes by redirecting the data flow? They really can't help themselves. Tonik, not sure I trust Google anymore than Big Red. OpenDNS seems to be less motivated by marketing personal data. Call me a pessimist, but it is hard to "trust" your privacy with anyone online these days. Even the good intentioned get hacked & data stolen. Crazy world. :)
     
    #11 cooba, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  12. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    According to amibeingtracked.com I am on mobile, but not wifi.

    I have nothing to hide really, but I get the concern completely.

    Of course, if I continue at this same rate of data consumption for the rest of my cycle, I use about 10x the data on wifi that I do on mobile.

    Sent from my Note 4 via Tapatalk