Saturday, February 07, 2015

Privacy Lawmakers Call for Investigation Into Verizon’s Use of Mobile ‘Supercookies’

Lowell McAdam, the chief executive of Verizon, which is under scrutiny for its online tracking policies. Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images
By Natasha Singer and Brian X. Chen, NYT
February 6, 2015 11:25 am

Three Democratic lawmakers on the influential Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation are calling on federal regulators to investigate Verizon for its practice of using unique customer codes to track the online activities of its wireless subscribers.

The company uses the tracking technology — alphanumerical customer codes known as supercookies — to segment its subscribers into clusters and tailor advertising pitches to them.

Although Verizon allows subscribers some choices regarding the use of their information for marketing purposes, the company does not permit them to opt out of being tagged with the persistent tracking technology.

The senators sent letters on Friday morning to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, saying that the tracking technology may violate consumers’ privacy and asking regulators to investigate Verizon’s practices.

(More here.)

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