How to opt out of tracking your personalized Verizon experience

Verizon users are it now automatically enrolls in a data collection program that tracks information such as websites visited and mobile app usage. Recently reported by Input, the telecommunications company runs a two-tier tracking program and automatically enrolls each customer in the first tier.

The Verizon Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus programs are a rebranding of Verizon Selects, launched in 2012 to help retailers target consumers with smartphones with increased accuracy. Although customers had the choice to join Verizon Selects, you must manually opt out of Verizon Custom Experience.

Unlike Verizon Selects, the new programs do not share your data with third-party advertisers. Your personal information is only used internally by Verizon. People who are interested in privacy should still consider giving up if they prefer their data not to be collected and stored for months by the telecommunications giant.

What information does Verizon collect?

Again, every Verizon user is automatically enrolled in the Custom Experience program. This level does not track as much data as the higher level, Custom Experience Plus, but the basic level still registers the websites you visit and the applications you use. According to Verizon, the data from the website is stored “for no more than six months”. An in-app storage timeline is not explicitly listed on the company’s FAQ.

If you were previously a member of the old Verizon Selects program, the company has already included you in the Custom Experience Plus program. In addition to all the top-level information, Custom Experience Plus tracks the location of your device and Verizon Fios Internet service data. The program also keeps track of who you talk to and when you talk to them through call logs. The stored information does not include the content of your calls or text messages. Verizon claims that the location data and phone calls are stored in a “approximately one year” file.

It is worth noting that Verizon shares selected user data with third parties as part of the authentication program. Shared data may include information about your device, account, and profile.

How to give up?

First, log in to your Verizon account using a web browser or the My Verizon mobile app. Choose Account section, and then click Profile settings and Privacy settings in the network. For the mobile app, click the gear icon in the upper right corner and Manage privacy settings.

Screenshot: WIRED via Verizon

On the privacy page, web users can choose Do not use in the Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus sections. In the My Verizon app, toggle all the green sliders to the left.

Screenshot: WIRED via Verizon

If you want to remove yourself from the authentication program, switch the slider to the left of the mobile phone or select Do not agree in the network.

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