“For the business and marketing reports offered by Verizon Wireless, records about Web sites visited, cell phone locations and other consumer data will be combined (or aggregated) to compile reports that provide businesses with insights about their customers. For example, these insights may include the demographics (age ranges, gender, etc.) and interests (such as ‘pet lovers’ or ‘tennis enthusiasts’) of visitors to a Web site, or commuters who might pass an outdoor billboard. These aggregate reports could be used by Web publishers to help provide content that is more appealing to users, or to help advertisers better select the ads they will display on outdoor billboards or at other venues.”
This means that Verizon is offering such data to third-parties without explicit customer consent or prior warning to allow for concerned customers to opt out of the data collection practice. In order to opt out of the new changes, customers must also use the online account management portal to do so, with no alternative opt out method immediately available.Â With the growth in data access and applications, such data collection practices by carriers are starting to become more commonplace.