After a period of extended public pressure, Verizon now offers consumers an opt out for supercookie tracking. The company had announced in January that they would stop inserting the UIHD trackers, another name for supercookies, for consumers who indicated that they did not want to be a part of the program. The trackers work by logging web pages accessed by consumers on their mobile data programs.
While Verizon had previously allowed customers the option of disabling tracking for marketing purposes, this is the first time Verizon customers have the option of opting out of tracking altogether. Debra Lewis, a spokesperson for Verizon said of the change,
As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus. As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs.”
Some still argue that the move is not enough. Privacy advocates claim that Verizon should have explicit consent before tracking consumer mobile web browsing activity. The current system will allow consumers to actively remove themselves from the tracking program by calling Verizon at 1-866-211-0874 or visiting Verizon websites, but otherwise consumers will be tracked. Jacob Hoffman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation makes this point saying,
This is an improvement, but it doesn’t do nearly enough,” he said. “Verizon should discontinue its header injection program, or at a minimum make it opt-in.”
Read More – Verizon Wireless Customers Can Now Opt Out of ‘Supercookies’ (New York Times, Brian X. Chen)