Verizon and AT&T are selling your personal data to advertizers: here's how to stop that

Verizon and AT&T are selling your personal data to advertizers: here's how to stop that
If you are a Verizon Wireless customer, you might not know that the carrier is selling your usage data for money. Anonymized location data, age, gender, usage habits, sports teams, dining and others are all sold to advertizers. Virtually the same data selling scheme occurs at AT&T. Now that you know, you might actually not like this idea, and luckily there is a way to opt out, but the urgency is higher on Verizon.

Big Red has a policy under which you have 30 days to opt out of having your data sold to advertizers, otherwise your data is sold. Mobile developer Bryan Clark read the fine print and found about this, and here is the warning and the solution. For AT&T, you don’t have the 30-day limit, but still the carrier’s is pretty much the same as the one on Verizon.

“The quantity, technical configuration, type, destination, location and amount of use of the telecommunications services you purchase” can all be tracked and sold, according to Verizon’s terms.

If you want to opt out of that, here is a link where you can do so:

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38 Comments

1. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Simple, really; Stop using them!!!

12. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

It's simple, kill the batman.

16. 2LiveStu

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

this comment amuses me

2. AdamW33

Posts: 39; Member since: Aug 25, 2011

I clicked on the VZ link but don't see where to opt out...

15. tgtftw

Posts: 31; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You first need to sign into your MyVZW account then it will take you to the page where you can select whether or not you want to share your info. You have to choose Save for each category in order for it to process correctly.

21. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

im glad I read your comment. I changed them all then clicked save at the bottom. It even displays a message saying your changes have been saved. Such a typical Verizon move. They'll do anything to convince you you've done what you wanted, but the reality is whatever is in their business's best interest.

3. thachlel

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Thanks for the info! I just followed the link n requested to strict not to .....

4. THETECHTEAM

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

WHO CARES!!! VERIZON ATT ALL COMPANIES HAVE SOMETHING THEY HIDING!!

9. johnny9000

Posts: 50; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

Comments like yours is exactly why working customer service for a cell phone company is such a awful job. "What are you hiding from me?" "Why are you stealing my money?" Blah blah blah. Take a few pills.

22. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

It should be an awful job. they are the front line between greedy, lying businesses and consumers. im never intentionally rude to them. I know its just a job, but when consumers are frustrated with their awful business practices, they have absolutely no one else to communicate with about it.

29. RomeoJDR

Posts: 245; Member since: Dec 09, 2011

I care. All companies will try to make an extra buck and am thankful for this article bringing it to my my attention so I can do something about it at least in this instance. If they want to make money of my usage info then I better see a break in my bill, which obviously doesn't happen.

5. chunk1x

Posts: 248; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

First Apple patented remote disabling system for the government. Now AT&T and Verizon sells your info. Seriously, there something wrong with U.S. right now.

6. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

You just figuring that out? Check this out...http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/

33. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Wow, I post a link and P.A. bans me for a week....good ole, ignoramuses...

7. jbjr43

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

I just went to VZW's website by following the posted link and logging in. There are three sections available. If you choose to opt out, you must save changes on all three by clicking on "Save Changes" beneath each section.

8. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

thanks for the heads up PA

10. johnny9000

Posts: 50; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

This entire article is perfect cannon fodder for the ultra paranoid. I was with Verizon for 7 years, never opted out, and guess what? Never got any advertising because of them. Who cares.

11. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Done. I always wanted to do this, never could find the proper link to do it. Thank you!

13. sleepyjohnny

Posts: 151; Member since: Dec 16, 2009

I really don't even see a problem with this. I'd rather they sell my anonymous data, than me pay even more a month. It has no affect on me whatsoever. If you're not being tracked down somewhere, you're being track in other places. They can't see private information, they can only see unconnected inpersonal data usages.

14. e_photo867

Posts: 7; Member since: May 10, 2012

So basically this is the legal way to steal your information and money

17. ChrisG

Posts: 38; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

Good article, though it's "advertisers," not "advertizers."

20. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Grammar police... plull over!!! lol...

28. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Darn man you beat me to it. One thing about their articles, informative and lots of grammatical errors. Sir, +1 for you. The force won't be with you next time.

18. moofoodooloo

Posts: 137; Member since: Jan 04, 2011

#1 and #2 in the highest rate plans, and then selling personal info on the backside.. Remember when Verizon was going to charge a convenience fee for customers to pay their bills online? So creative.

19. TheRetroReplay

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

If they're going to be making money off of me besides me paying them and buying their products by selling my data to advertisers, they need to discount my bill. So of course I opted out. Bu if they said, "we want to sell you data, but we'll take a huge percentage off your bill as compensation if you opt in." Then hell yeah, I'll do it, then I'll just get that call blocker app on my phone so I won't get calls from the people they sold my info to.

25. sleepyjohnny

Posts: 151; Member since: Dec 16, 2009

The information they're collecting is all anonymous. They wouldn't be able to contact you regardless

23. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

This isn't new, I had opted out of this many moons ago. I had this Opt out thing pop up one month I was about to pay my bill online so I just opted out of the first two, since those two can identify you almost personally and the 3rd is just for actual relevant to my tastes according to my use of other companies. Relax people, they didn't actually hide this but why is PA running this like some fear mongering story "you have 30 days to opt out..." If that was true then we would not be able to opt out now since I can vaguely remember the exact month I opted out, it's been way more than 30 days.

24. thatjackal

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

They informed me about this constantly on my bills online months ago... but If Verizon can somehow benefit off the fact I use the overwhelming majority of my data from them to look at porn, and then manage to profit off of that information... more power to them, lol.

26. smallcolabear

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

they sent me physical mail stating this and I opted out of it they also send me an email everytime a phone is upgraded on my account to a smartphone. Im with Verizon. they give me plenty of opportunities to opt out before they do it.

27. ghostkilla1388

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

What if im on Page Plus? That uses verizon towers,.

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