Privacy News of the Week

6072571372_99c5115ef6_nVerizon Wireless to allow ‘supercookie’ opt-out

The nation’s largest wireless carrier, stung by criticism about its use of “supercookie” trackers on customers’ mobile devices, will start allowing people to opt out of supercookie tracking.

The move, announced at the end of January, marks a sharp reversal for Verizon, which until recently had only let customers opt out of marketing programs that used data generated by the trackers. Customers of the carrier will be able to fully remove the supercookies, known formally as UIDHs, “soon”, in the words of a Verizon spokesman.

Most troubling about the supercookies is that they have the potential to supersede conventional privacy protection measures, such as deleting browser cookies. Mark this announcement as a win for privacy – but keep an eye on device-based tracking moving forward, we say. Read More

Privacy News of the Week

small__8008932498Verizon Wireless placing ‘supercookies’ on customer devices

Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest provider of cell service, is using a unique form of tracking to help advertisers target Verizon customers with ads.

And the technology – dubbed a ‘supercookie’ in reference to the cookies that websites place in web browsers to identify unique users – was being used to track Verizon customers who had deleted one ad broker’s ordinary cookies.

That broker, Turn, has since ceased the practice. But, privacy experts say, the use of Verizon’s device-based tracking tech to replace regular cookies could hint at how tracking will look in the not-too-distant future. Read More