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Verizon Is Collecting User Data: Here’s How You Can Opt-Out

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Verizon is back in the news again, and not for good reasons. The carrier is automatically enrolling its wireless users into the “Verizon Custom Experience” program, which basically collects user data for targeted ads.

Verizon’s site claims it will use the data to “personalize our communications with you,” among a few other things. More specifically, this Customer Experience program gathers data on web history, app usage, location, and the people you’ve contacted recently. If all of this seems a little excessive, it’s because it is.

Some research by the folks over at Gizmodo and  Input Mag suggests that Verizon keeps data on user website visits for up to six months. Moreover, the carrier keeps customer proprietary network information (CPNI) and location data for 12 months. Call records which include the duration of the calls, are also stored by Verizon, though text messages are exempt.

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Verizon customers can opt-out via the My Verizon App

Users can opt-out of this rather shady data collection practice through the My Verizon app. Users simply have to head over to the Settings tab, navigate to Privacy Settings and disable the Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus options from the onscreen toggles.

Verizon User Data

As Droid-Life suggests, it’s wise to disable all other data collection options from the My Verizon app, especially if you don’t want the carrier to have access to sensitive data. Accounts with multiple numbers can disable the setting for each individual number.

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Data privacy is a big concern for modern-day smartphone users. This new revelation about Verizon makes the carrier come across as disingenuous. Fortunately, opting out of these services is relatively easy and doesn’t contain a lot of steps. If you’re a Verizon customer, we highly recommend getting on the My Verizon app right away and reviewing what data you’re currently sharing with the carrier.

Last year, Google came under fire for its voice data collection practices. The company eventually decided to opt out all Google users from this practice. This meant that voice data collection became an optional service for Google customers rather than a default option. Of course, the company is no stranger to controversies involving user privacy, so the response was unsurprising.