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Verizon Wireless to allow customers to actually opt-out of controversial supercookie tracking


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Verizon in a 180° turnaround made this announcement:

 

Excerpt:

 

"Debi Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, issued a statement first reported on by the New York Times about the change:

 

Verizon takes customer privacy seriously and it is a central consideration as we develop new products and services. As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus.

We listen to our customers and provide them the ability to opt out of our advertising programs. We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon. As a reminder, Verizon never shares customer information with third parties as part of our advertising programs.

Verizon began inserting the tracking code into the Web traffic of its "retail customers" -- those not on business or government contracts -- in 2012. But the program reached a higher profile last fall, when many critics and researchers raised concerns about it, dubbing it a "supercookie. The unique string of numbers, which the company calls a UIDH or "Unique Identifier Header," might be used by other companies looking to track users' online behavior or even governments, they worried. AT&T, which was also experimenting with a program similar to Verizon's, announced it was dropping the supercookie in November.

But Verizon defended the practice, saying it was "it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles for online advertising" in a message posted to its Web site. Then earlier this month, privacy researchers revealed that a third-party advertising tracking company was using the code to bring back their own cookies, even if consumers had taken steps to remove them. The company, TURN, has since said it will discontinue the practice."

 

The article in full is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/01/30/verizon-wireless-to-allow-customers-to-actually-opt-out-of-controversial-supercookie-tracking/

 

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I went and checked - found a couple of opt outs there (that were not check, are now) but the UIDH is not there -- yet. Note to self, check back in 16 months when they finally get around to it. (might be sooner but I doubt it, just saying. Not their problem, but it's my problem and they will do their usual jump right on it)

 

Thanx for the article Derek!!

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