Verizon's New Corporate Service Sells User Location Data to Other Companies


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Dec 30, 2010
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Austin, TX

Previously, we covered Verizon's announcements of new "services/products" in which they will be selling user collected location data to other companies. This product is obviously not designed for the end user, but is for Verizon to make additional profits selling valuable marketing information to other corporate entities. You can see our previous stories regarding the subject, here and here.

Today we have a little more info to share,

Whenever a Verizon Wireless customer visits a website on his or her smartphone, data such as the name of the site visited, demographic info about the user and his/her location, is being sent out to Precision Market Insights where it is collected and analyzed. This is a product that Verizon launched last October which is offered to certain subscribers like malls, billboard owners, stadiums, etc. These subscribers see the age and location of cellphone users in a certain area, and learn which websites these people are viewing. ~ PhoneArena

Supposedly, Verizon claims they are not selling individual data to other companies, but are instead simply sharing data about groups. This doesn't necessarily allay fears, especially from privacy advocates like Chris Soghoian of the ACLU.

To be fair, Verizon does offer an opt-out program, and you can hit up the link below to do so. In the meantime, sound off in the thread and let us know what you think of Verizon selling your location data to other companies.

Here are instructions on how to opt-out:
  1. Log into your Verizon Wireless account and navigate to their privacy page.
  2. You will see three sections: Customer Proprietary Network Settings, Business and Marketing Reports, and "Relevant Mobile Advertising."
  3. Go to the first section, opt out, and click Save.
  4. You will then need to repeat this in each section. (Remember to hit save each time for all three opt-out sections)

Verizon - Disable Customer Proprietary Network Information Sharing
I opted out from this service last July by leaving Verizon. Why hasn't everyone else? Also, is it legal to sell the data from a phone owned by someone under 18?
Sharing data about groups. Basically the same thing Google does. But I'll accept the argument that you agree to that in payment for a free service.

And you don't have to leave VZW to opt out of this.
I don't see any of that when I go to the Privacy Page. Is it because I am a business customer?
I know Google does something similar, and I really do not care what they are sending to companies about me because all they'll see is a guy in his late 20's from Kansas City that watches a TON of porn.

Haha no but really...most of my Internetting is done from home and I've got my home network encrypted with a VPN service. So Verizon doesn't see much about what I do on the web anyway. Even still, they're gouging us because they know they can, so I'm disabling this just because I'm not letting them squeeze another dollar out of me.