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Verizon's mobile ad program to add in PC web data

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 2:19pm
Ben Munson, Wireless Week

Verizon alerted customers it’s “enhancing” it Relevant Mobile Advertising program to incorporate information gathered from desktop and laptop Internet habits. 

According to the LA Times, Verizon will begin using an “anonymous, unique identifier” assigned to users when they register on a Verizon website. 

That identifier will gather information about what websites the user visits on their desktop or laptop. Marketers will in turn use that information to deliver targeted ads to that user’s mobile devices. The online PC activity tracked is not limited to computers with a Verizon connection.

Verizon Wireless will automatically enroll customers into the enhanced ad program and could put software on users’ PCs unbeknownst to them, according to the LA Times report. Customers can opt out of the program.

Verizon broadening its lucrative data collection operations comes as the U.S. population is still highly sensitive about its personal information being collected online.

When information about the NSA’s data collecting policies toward U.S. citizens last year surfaced and stirred outrage, wireless providers like Verizon largely stayed quiet. But as the government pushed toward carriers hosting the NSA-harvested phone data, carriers have pushed back against storing those records for the NSA.

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