Verizon customer information is once again, being targeted for mobile advertising, according to the company’s Relevant Mobile Advertising Program Enhancement:
In addition to the customer information that’s currently part of the program, we will soon use an anonymous, unique identifier we create when you register on our websites. This identifier may allow an advertiser to use information they have about your visits to websites from your desktop computer to deliver marketing messages to mobile devices on our network.
The program would allow Verizon to use your personal information along with gathered information obtained from other companies to bring you ads. This information could mean your device type, postal address, gender, age range, websites you’ve visited and so on. Verizon would use that information to create specific ads tailored to you, like an ad for local restaurant within a specific geographical range. Expect these ads to appear anywhere and everywhere when you use Verizon to access web services or apps.
What types of devices and accounts receive Relevant Mobile Advertising?
Only devices that use our network are included. This includes basic phones, smartphones, tablets, mobile hotspots, netbooks and USB modems. If you share your mobile hotspot with others, ads may also appear on connected devices. Most customer and small business accounts are included. Corporate, government and prepaid accounts are not included.
Where will I see ads delivered via the Relevant Mobile Advertising program?
You’ll see ads in the same places you see them today, such as on websites you visit or on applications you use.
In 2012, the company introduced a similar plan, Verizon Selects, but failed to move forward with the ads. It’s unclear whether too many customers opted out, or if other factors affected the slow roll out. However, since this new advertising scheme comes with a different name, it’s safe to assume that you should opt out, once again. If you don’t want your personal information to be used in Relevant Ads, you can opt out here, but it’s evidently not 100% functional.
Any paid advertising would mean that Verizon would essentially both profiting from both parties – its data subscribers and commercial businesses. Further, the company is also seeking to end Net Neutrality – meaning it will also profit from charging websites and businesses willing to pay for you to access their web services. The company has already been accused of throttling data from Amazon’s Cloud services and Netflix. Verizon denies making changes to data speeds.