Verizon Wireless Will Watch Everything You Do If You Don't Opt Out

Verizon Wireless is sending emails to customers this week informing them that the company will now begin storing their browsing history, location, app usage data and more, in the name of providing “more relevant” mobile ads. The company says it won’t “share any information that identifies you personally,” and the email includes instructions for customers who want to opt out of the tracking program.

According to the notice from Verizon, information the company will now save includes URLs of web sites visited by customers, which “may include search terms you have used,” the “location of your device” and “demographic and interest categories provided to us by other companies, such as gender, age range, sports fan, frequent diner, or pet owner.”

Verizon says it will use the data to, among other things, “create business and marketing reports,” to allow other companies to do the same, and, of course to “make mobile ads you see more relevant.”

Description: When you use your wireless device, you often see ads on websites and apps. Using certain Consumer Information (such as your Demographics, device type, and language preference) and the postal address we have for you, we will determine whether you fit within an audience an advertiser is trying to reach. This means ads you see may be more relevant to you. We will not share any information that identifies you personally.

Example: A local restaurant may want to advertise only to people who live within 10 miles, and we might help deliver that ad on a website without sharing information that identifies you personally.

Verizon announced the new policy last month. Customers can opt out by logging into Verizon’s privacy site, or calling a toll-free number. And just in case you were concerned, don’t worry: If you opt out, you’ll still see ads on your phone.

Important notice about how Verizon Wireless uses information [Verizon Wireless via Techcrunch]