Verizon allows subscribers to ‘opt out’ of its user-tracking program

Verizon allows subscribers to ‘opt out’ of its user-tracking program

According to a New York Times report, US wireless carrier Verizon has said in a Friday statement that it will allow its subscribers to opt out of the company's controversial user-tracking program.

The move announced by Verizon comes close on the heels of a written communiqué which the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation sent to Verizon CEO Lowell C. McAdam on Thursday, asking him to question his company's user-tracking behavior which had triggered a serious privacy controversy in 2014.

Verizon's users-tracking tactics were brought to light by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Jacob Hoffman-Andrews last year. In an article published in Ad Age, Hoffman-Andrews said that Verizon uses a PrecisionID tool - developed by the company's data marketer, Precision Market Insights - which is "a deterministic identifier matched to devices on Verizon's wireless network powering data-driven marketing and addressable advertising solutions…"

The tool mobilizes traffic headers moving through the Verizon's cellular network; enabling the carrier to track the mobile browsing behavior of its subscribers for advertising purposes.

With Verizon now having allowed subscribers to 'opt out' of the user-tracking program, the carrier has asserted that it will stop injecting unique identifying headers (UIDHs) into the web traffic of subscribers who switch off the program in their account settings.

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