How to stop Verizon and AT&T from sharing your user data with advertisers

New iPhone owners on the nation’s largest LTE network might be interested to know that the carrier gives its customers 30 days to opt-out of participating in a user data sharing program with advertisers.

The program tracks smartphone users, recording things like location data (though it’s anonymized), age, dining habits and other demographics, and shares them with advertisers for targeted marketing…

The Next Web points to the opt-out process, which was first brought up by Bryan Clark. It seems that if users don’t want to be tracked for advertising purposes, they must visit this website, login to their account, and opt out of three tracking categories. Here’s an excerpt from one of Verizon’s disclosures:

“Mobile usage information includes the addresses or information in URLs (such as search terms) of websites you visit when you use our wireless service, the location of your device (“Location Information”), and your use of applications and features. Consumer information includes information about your use of Verizon products and services (such as data and calling features,device type, and amount of use) as well as demographic and interest categories provided to us by other companies (such as gender, age range, sports fan, frequent diner, or pet owner). We will combine this information in a manner that does not personally identify you”

The three categories are: Customer Proprietary Network Information Settings, Business and Marketing reports, and finally Relevant Mobile Advertising. Anonymized or not, it’s kind of creepy to think that your every move is being followed by lurking advertisers.

We recommend visiting this website if you’re a Verizon smartphone customer (not just iPhone users) to ensure that you’re not being tracked. And AT&T has a similar site for its subscribers.