Monday, February 2, 2015

Verizon: Customers May Opt-out from Header Insertion

Back in October,  Jonathan Mayer,  a computer scientist and lawyer at Stanford, found how Verizon Wireless'  HTTP header insertion works (here, chart below), which naturally raised concerns about customers'  privacy.

In conjunction (?) with the Data Privacy Day (here), Brian X. Chen and Natasha Singer post to the New York Times blog states that "Verizon Wireless, which has been under fire by privacy advocates since late last year, has decided to make a major revision to its mobile ad-targeting program .. In a recent interview, Praveen Atreya, a Verizon director who helped develop the technology behind the mobile marketing program, said the company was considering allowing its subscribers to opt out of being tagged with its undeletable customer codes. On Friday, Verizon confirmed this decision.

Debi Lewis [pictured], a Verizon spokeswoman, issued this statement: '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'".

See "Verizon Wireless to Allow Complete Opt Out of Mobile ‘Supercookies’" - here.

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