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Verizon Wireless to Enable Opt-Out of Mobile "Supercookies"

Verizon Wireless has made a major change to its mobile ad-targeting program: it will now allow users to completely opt out of being targeted with “supercookies.”

“Supercookies” are hidden identifiers that can track websites when users surf the mobile Web. Compared to regular mobile cookies, the code of a “supercookie” is more difficult to wipe from a user’s browser.

Previously, Verizon allowed users to opt out of the marketing side of its mobile ad-targeting program, but it didn’t provide the option to disable being targeted with “supercookies.” However, Verizon decided last Friday to allow complete an opt-out of the undetectable identifiers due to data security and privacy issues.

In an email response sent to Search Engine Watch, the company said, “Verizon takes consumer privacy seriously and it is a central consideration as we develop new products and services. As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus.”

The expansion to include the opt-out of “supercookies” will be available “soon.”

It’s still unclear how Verizon is going to execute this program revision, and how the company is going to stop third-party advertisers from using its unique customer codes, and Verizon declined to comment further on the matter. But privacy advocates cited in The New York Times suggest that Verizon should have the feature turned off, and enable opt-in rather than opt-out.

Image via Shutterstock.

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