Verizon’s latest feature is little more than a massive, privacy-killing data grab, sold under the banner of ‘personalization.’
Verizon is the latest company that no longer seems content with charging a premium for a service, and instead wants to grab as much data from its users as possible in order to profit from that as well. In a recent email to customers, first noticed by Input, the company announced its “Verizon Custom Experience” program.
The company says the program is designed to “personalize our communications with you, give you more relevant product and service recommendations, and develop plans, services and offers that are more appealing to you.”
There’s only one problem: In order to “personalize” customer experiences, Verizon wants access to customers’ browsing history, app usage, location, and everyone a customer texts or calls. While it could be argued that, as a wireless provider, Verizon already has access to text and calling contacts, as well as location, there’s absolutely no reason the company should be accessing customers’ web browsing history or app usage.
To make matters even worse, Verizon automatically enrolls customers in its new program, meaning they have to manually opt out in order to protect their privacy. To do so, customers open the My Verizon app and disable “Custom Experience” and “Custom Experience Plus” under “Privacy Settings.”
Verizon should be ashamed for such a thinly veiled attempt to monetize its customers in such a manner. The company has a long-standing reputation of being among the most expensive US wireless carriers, specifically because it supposedly offers a premium experience for its customers.
One would think that respecting and protecting its customers’ privacy would part of that premium service, instead of greedily trying to mine and profit from their data.