By Emily Rotthaler– With the recent release of a new custom experience program, Verizon now collects user’s contacts, apps, location, and website data to create personalized services. The catch – all Verizon customers were automatically enrolled in the program and have to manually opt out if they don’t want their private information stored for several months.
The purpose of the program is to provide users with a more tailored Verizon experience. This includes personalized product and service recommendations, as well as personalized communications between the user and the mobile service provider.
In the process, Verizon tracks who customers talk to and when, the location of devices, and the websites and apps the user visited. The data from calls and messages is then stored for a year, while website data is stored for up to six months.
Junior Megan Messersmith has been a Verizon customer for a year. She had not heard of the Verizon program before but wasn’t surprised that yet another company decided to try out customized marketing strategies.
Messersmith said that she is only slightly concerned about the program and her data but will nevertheless most likely opt out of the service.
She added that she will not use the services because “All the benefits sound nice and fancy, but I already get the same ads all the time and honestly that has annoyed me more than anything, so I turned it off.”
Unrelated to the custom experience program, the only thing Messersmith is concerned about regarding Verizon is that since she switched to the provider, she has gotten more spam calls than with her old provider. She said it seems to her like Verizon had a data leak at some point.
Junior Ashley Neal previously knew about the custom experience program and said she overall doesn’t mind the way it operates. According to her, she only minds the number of promotional messages she receives about the program.
Like Messersmith, however, Neal will also opt out of the service. She said, “I don’t need many of the services since I have other apps that I use for the services that they provide.”
In the end, it will be a personal decision of each customer whether they want to opt out of the program and keep their private data out of Verizon’s hands. For those who do choose to opt out, the process of doing so is easy. The first step is signing into the Verizon account, the second is clicking on settings, and the final step is pressing ‘don’t use’ for both the Custom Experience and the Custom Experience Plus program.