Verizon (NASDAQ:VZ) has finally allowed customers to opt out of “Supercookies” that was earlier used for tracking users and could not be cleared. These Supercookies were used to develop an ad-service for delivering targeted ads based on website searches and browser history.
The US wireless carrier in 2012 started to deliver unique identifying headers (UIDHs) to users of the Verizon network. These headers would track every HTTP request made by the user and allowed the ad companies to maintain the data of a specific consumer and deliver targeted ads.
“We listen to our customers and provide them with the ability to opt out of advertising programs,” said Verizon spokesman.
The spokesperson also mentioned that the opt-put option for UIDH identifier will be released soon. The company has promised its customers that information collected will not be used for any ad-services or be distributed to any third-party services.
The UIHD headers remained even though the cookies were deleted or if Chrome’s Incognito mode was used. This received widespread criticism from privacy advocates and consumers. Verizon stated that it would stop injecting UIHDs into the new subscriber’s network. AT&T which was developing a similar Supercookies dumped the plan after reports emerged.
The company stressed on the need for increased privacy as new products and services were developed. The company added that it focused on delivering best-in-class privacy privacy protections in the view of growing advertising and delivering business. Verizon’s move is seen as a way to calm down users by finally allowing them to free them of Supercookies.
Earlier, opting out prevented advertisers from sharing the user stats and information which they continued to do, but the new “opt-out” as claimed by the company completely prevents tracking and collection of user data based on browsing history. It remains to be seen if other wireless carriers would develop or stop developing similar cookies in the future.Source ]