If You Use Verizon, Advertisers Can Track You No Matter What

Illustration for article titled If You Use Verizon, Advertisers Can Track You No Matter What

If you use Verizon, you have no way to opt out of the company's tracking program that will realistically protect you from third-party companies from using Verizon's tracking IDs to build profiles on you.


Verizon's tracking program made headlines earlier this week, and the carrier insisted that it would not provide data to ad partners for people who opted out. But Verizon's tracking number automatically provides information to every website that people visit, so third parties like Twitter's ad exchange MoPub can and do use that tracking information to create targeted ads.

ProPublica explained how futile opting out of the tracking program is. Even though Verizon says it won't sell your data to advertisers if you opt out, it can't stop the third parties that receive tracking data when Verizon customers visit their websites from using the data to their own ends:

The data can be used by any site – even those with no relationship to the telecoms — to build a dossier about a person's behavior on mobile devices – including which apps they use, what sites they visit and for how long.

I've asked Verizon if the company is looking into ways to allow people who opt-out of the tracking program to prevent third parties from using their data. I'll update if I hear back. [via ProPublica]