NORFOLK, Va. - Verizon customers may not know that they have been automatically enrolled in a program where the company is collecting their personal information.
It's called the Verizon Custom Experience and it's a re-branded version of the company's Verizon Selects Program.
Verizon collects customer's personal information, tracks what websites are visited and creates user interest profiles based off of that.
Verizon gives this example on their support page: "If we think you like music, we could present you with a Verizon offer that includes music content or provide you with a choice related to a concert in our Verizon Up reward program. The program helps us personalize our communication with you, give you more relevant product and service recommendations, and develop plans, services, and offers that are more appealing to you."
Dr. Aureila Williams, Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Executive Director of the NSU Cybersecurity Complex, said "some people like the benefit of the information coming to them versus them having to go to the various sites and do that. Now the challenge that we have is the privacy concern. How much of my information are you collecting from my phone? Or from where I'm visiting? And how much of it? Are you sharing with other people?"
Verizon said they don't store the information for more than 6 months and they don't sell it to third party companies.
To opt out of Custom Experience or Custom Experience Plus:
- Go to the Privacy preferences page in My Verizon.
- Scroll to the Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus sections and update your settings.
Dr. Williams suggests checking your phone and app settings every few months to see if there are any that you want to unsubscribe from or opt out of.