My Verizon app could be collecting your browsing history and more

My Verizon app could be collecting your browsing history and more
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My Verizon app could be collecting your browsing history and more

Highlights

The My Verizon app could be collecting information about your browsing history, location, applications, and your contacts, all in the name of helping the business "understand your interests," which Input first discovered.

The My Verizon app could be collecting information about your browsing history, location, applications, and your contacts, all in the name of helping the business "understand your interests," which Input first discovered. The program, in which Verizon appears to automatically opt-in for customers, is called Verizon Custom Experience, and it's buried in the app's privacy settings.

The program features two different options that appear in the application, Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus, each of which varies in terms of invasiveness. Verizon provides additional information on both settings within the app, as well as on an FAQ page on its website. It appears that the Personalized Experience option is a simplified version of Personalized Experience Plus and, as Verizon indicates directly in the app, it helps Verizon "personalize" its "communication with you" and "provide you with more relevant product and service recommendations." by using "information about the websites you visit and the applications you use on your mobile device."

Meanwhile, Custom Experience Plus serves the same purpose: to help Verizon give you a more "personalized" experience. However, it not only uses information about the websites and applications that you use on your mobile device, but it also says that it uses the "location of your device", along with the "phone numbers you call or call" to help Verizon "better understand your interests." This also includes your CPNI, which tracks the times and duration of your calls.

As Verizon explains on its site, it could use your information to, for example, present you with an offer that includes music content or provide you with a music-related option in its Verizon Up rewards program if it knows you like music. Verizon explicitly states that "you must opt-out and may change your choice at any time", but users do not appear to have the opportunity to opt-out themselves, or may be doing so without knowing it.

To cancel the personalized experience entirely, open your My Verizon app and then hit the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Scroll down and select "Manage privacy settings" under the "Preferences" heading. On the next page, uncheck "Custom Experience" and "Custom Experience Plus." To clear the information that Verizon has already collected about you through the program, tap "Personalized Experience Settings" and hit "Reset." The company says it will not sell your information to advertisers and will "use it for Verizon purposes only," but it remains puzzling either way.

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