How to stop Verizon from anonymously tracking your iPhone usage

How to stop Verizon from anonymously tracking your iPhone usage

Verizon collects a ton of usage and behavioral data on their customers, anonymizes it and then leverages it for marketing and partner programs. If you just signed up with Verizon, say to get a new iPhone 5, you have 30 days to opt-out of the data collection. Bryan J Clark posted about it earlier on app.net:

@benbrooks thought you might like to do a PSA: new Verizon customers like us have 30 days to opt-out from them selling your web history and device location to marketers. They should go to www.vzw.com/myprivacy to fix it.

While Verizon is hardly the only company to engage in customer analytics, because they have access to your cell phone data, they have access to far more, and more personal data than almost any other company. If you're the kind of person who turns off Google web tracking and flips your Facebook privacy settings to maximum, you'll almost certainly want to kill Verizon's snooping as well.

You might also want to drop them and the government oversight organizations of your choice a little letter telling them any such data collection would be better offered as opt-in than hidden as opt-out.

Update: Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web dove into Verizon's privacy options. If you weren't encouraged to turn it all off, all now, read what he found and you will be.

Source: www.vzw.com/myprivacy via Bryan J Clark and Ben Brooks

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to stop Verizon from anonymously tracking your iPhone usage

16 Comments

thanks for this!! I promptly proceeded to opt out.... effin cell companies!!!!%#$%%#

The article makes it seem like it needs to be done every 30 days, but is this true? I can't remember when/if I set this, but mine are all opted out. Been with Verizon since 2005.

I just check my VZW account and i have been with VZW for several years and I was able to turn mine off as of now... I did not upgrade to the 5 so im not sure where the 30 days comes from...

I did upgrade but I've been with them for about a year now and could still change it.

Not complaining :)

Thanks for the tip, my settings were allowed for Business and Marketing Reports. Not anymore VZ.

I didn't know this existed. Thanks for spreading the word. I've opt'd out of all three, for five lines.

What about Sprint?! I'd like to see an article that compare the big carriers regarding privacy etc.--thanks!

I have been a Verizon customer for years and did not know this. I just went in and disabled al of the settings. I have been on my same plan for 4 years and was able to opt out so do not be discouraged by the 30 day deadline give it a shot and se what happens.

Weird...I got an email from AT&T this morning about this exact issue. the email was to explain everything and to give me the option to opt out. It seems that with AT&T, you can opt out at any time; there doesn't seem to be a time period.

The original article linked to in Rene's story now is updated to indicate tha a user Dan opt out at any time during or after the "initial 30 dy opt out period" (whatever that is)...

I believe in marketing analytics but not if I am not being compensated. If you are getting money from a prospect and then generate data to generate more revenue, then why not compensate that prospect? Anyone that partakes in a focus group is compensated. This is what the wireless carriers are essentially doing is a focus group. Wireless carriers take advantage of their power too often.

Glad I found this info from iMore. Privacy policies and User Agreements are often a tedious read and therefore people might not take the time to review. I'm now OUT of all 3. Thanks for the heads up