Privacy is still a big topic in the tech industry and how tech companies handle their customer’s data is still a matter up for debate.
The newest allegation about privacy breach is with the My Verizon mobile application which is reportedly collecting users’ browser history, location, apps, and even contacts all in the name of helping the company “understand your interest.”
The report was published by Input which made it known that Verizon automatically opts its customers into the Verizon Custom Experience while secretly binging on your privacy and feeding them back to the company’s HQ.
There are two options within the application – Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus with each having different levels of invasiveness
There is information about both features within the application while further answering a couple of questions on the FAQ page on its website.
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That said, the main difference between the Custom Experience and the “Plus” variant is that the former is a less aggressive invasion into your privacy even though Verizon says the feature help personalize its communication with you and give you more relevant product and service recommendations by using information about the website you visit and apps you use right on your smartphone.
Emma Roth from TheVerge noted that while checking through her smartphone’s privacy settings, she found out that both the “Custom Experience” and the “Custom Experience Plus” were toggled on.
She stated not recalling if she ever turned either on or even being asked to do so. Another case os of Andrew Paul of Input who discovered this by accidentally opening a promotional email from Verizon describing the new feature.
But if you land yourself in this same situation, it’ll be good to just turn the features back off if you don’t want Verizon to continuously spy on you.
In order to do this, open the My Verizon application and then click the gear icon at the top-right corner of the screen.
From the next screen, scroll down and select the option “Manage Privacy settings” which is located beneath the “Preferences” option.
On the new page, toggle off “Custom Experience” and “Custom Experience Plus” which will then erase the information that Verizon has already harvested about you through the program. You can also hit the “Reset” button to take things back to the beginning.
Even though these big tech companies often claim that they won’t sell your data to advertisers or use them in any dubious way, those claims are often not true.
One of such is with T-Mobile which was seen to be automatically enrolling its users in a program back in April.
Data harvested during the program were shared with advertisers until users had to manually opt-out from their privacy settings.
Stay safe and be mindful. Luckily, the next-gen Android 12 update and the current iOS 15 all come with an improved privacy system that will keep creepy tech companies away from stealing your private data.
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