If you’re a Verizon customer, you may have seen the new data collection policy the company recently emailed to its users.
The new policy raises privacy concerns. I have more information about that here along with specific steps you can take to opt out of the new policy. Please be aware that if you do not unsubscribe, Verizon may collect all kinds of information about you.
“When you’re a Verizon customer, they read all of your stuff. They collect data about your apps, where you browse the web, everything you do,” says money expert Clark Howard.
What is Verizon’s new data collection policy?
According to Verizon’s website, its new data collection policy automatically extracts personal information from cellphone customer accounts.
It’s called Custom Experience Plus and replaces the Verizon Selects program, which was a optional opt-in program that used customer data to obtain marketing information. If you agreed to participate in Verizon Selects, you were automatically enrolled in Customer Experience Plus.
I contacted Verizon to determine how the new policy applies to its Internet and Home Phone customers and will update this story when I have a response.
What data collection means in real terms
In real terms, data collection means that a company – in this case, Verizon – is spying on you.
If you’re wondering what kinds of information Verizon collects about you, here’s what it says on the company’s FAQ support page: “The personalized experience uses information about the websites you visit and the apps you use on your mobile device to help us determine your interests, such as “sports enthusiast” or “outdoors enthusiast.”
Some other things used by Custom Experience Plus are:
- Device location information
- The phone numbers you call and those who call you
- The times you receive these calls
Verizon says the programs “do not use what you or others say during calls or the content of your emails or text messages with other people.”
According to the company’s support page, the data collected “also includes information about the amount, type, destination, location, and amount of use of your Verizon telecommunications and voice over Internet protocol services. (VoIP) interconnected and associated billing information”.
But you can opt out of anything.
How to Opt Out of Verizon’s Data Collection Policy
The following steps are taken from Verizon’s FAQ page, which explains how you can opt out of Verizon’s Custom Experience program on the company’s website or in the app.
- Log in to your account at myverizon.com or through the Verizon app.
- Go to your privacy preferences settings.
- Scroll down to the Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus section and click “Do not use.” In the app, to fall over disabled Personalized Experience and Personalized Experience Plus.
Verizon Selects participants are automatically included in a renowned program, Custom Experience Plus, which tracks your data.
Clark says he finds it interesting that Verizon does not make the default position of these services that the client is not automatically activated.
“What Verizon has done is this nasty practice where you’re automatically in their spy network unless you unsubscribe,” he says. “It should be that if it’s such a good program that Verizon has for you, it should be something that they get you to join. But they know what they’re doing here. They know most people ignore these e -mails.
“You say, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ and you unsubscribe,” Clark advises.