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

Illustration for article titled Free Advice: Watch the Mail and Opt Out of Verizon Sharing Your Personal Data

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]



On seeing this, I decided to check it out for myself. Went to my account, found the same "not available" message.

So I went poking around in the settings for my account, and found the checkbox that lets you opt out. Here's how to get there, if you're interested:

- Sign in to the Verizon website.

- On the red bar near the top, hover over "My Verizon." Click on "My Profile." (Don't go over to the sub-menu that pops up.)

- In the second section down, under Phone Controls, there's a link to "View/Edit Privacy (CPNI) Settings." Click on that.

- Voila! Click on the button that says "Don't share my CPNI." Remember to hit the save button before you leave.