Free Advice: Watch the Mail and Opt Out of Verizon Sharing Your Personal DataS

Verizon is currently sending out notification letters chock full of legalese to its customers. Here's a summary: You have 45 days to opt out or you "agree" that Verizon can share your personal data.

Update: Verizon says this policy is not new. It has been in effect since 2007. Verizon also reiterates what we state below, which is that any personal-data sharing only happens within the Verizon "family" of telecom services, which are technically separate companies, hence the wording.

According to author David Weinberger, who made the discovery upon reading his pamphlet, the personal info Verizon wants to distribute willy nilly to anyone with a check includes "services purchased (including specific calls you make and receive), billing info, technical info and location info. They promise to only share this with 'affiliates, agents and parent companies.' It will definitely not be shared with 'unrelated third parties' ... unless, perhaps that third party pays Verizon to become an affiliate, whatever the heck 'affiliate' means."

If don't get your statements in the mail, and view them online like I do, you will not receive this letter. Instead, you have to log into your Verizon Wireless account and view your messages. However, Read Write Web reports the link provided there, called the Customer Proprietary Network Information Notice, was listed as "not available."

So keep an eye out for the mail, and be sure to opt out. Or, log in and hope Verizon grants you access to your own account so you can cancel the notice that way. [Read Write Web]