AT&T Plans to Join Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint in Selling Your Browsing History, Location, And More To Advertisers – Here’s How to Opt Out
While it isn't as bad as the PRISM tracking that made news a few weeks ago, cell phone carriers are tracking your moves and looking to make money off this information. Most of the major carriers have been doing this for some time, and AT&T has plans to join the party. Learn how to stop the tracking and avoid having your information being sold.
These carriers, which include Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, (and apparently AT&T is planning on joining the fray) collect your location, web browsing history, WI-FI usage, and other information about your phone use with the intent of aggregating the information and selling it to advertisers. In case you were curious, you won't see a kickback in the form of a discount on your bill for being a part of this program.
AT&T's plan, much like the other mobile companies (and online platforms like Google and Facebook), is to combine the data and make it anonymous, so individuals cannot be targeted in marketing. While this is the plan, some in the industry claim this kind of data can't truly be made anonymous.
The good news is that all of the major carriers offer the option to opt-out of these track-and-sell programs. Below are the links and contact information you need to get out of having your information tracked and sold.
How to Opt Out of Cell Phone Company Data Selling Programs
AT&T has a webpage dedicated to details about this and other programs you can opt out of (found here). You can specifically opt out of this program by going to http://att.com/cmpchoice, logging in, and opting out of the program.
(Here) are the details about Verizon's program> To opt out, call 1-800-333-9956.
The details for T-Mobile's program are (here). T-Mobile works with a third party called Network Advertising Initiative, which reportedly doesn't offer an account-wide option to opt out. A cookie-based opt out option can be found (here).