Verizon’s newest rewards program, Verizon Up, encourages you to trade your internet privacy for coupons

Posted on Aug 3, 2017 by Caleb Chen
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verizon up internet privacy

Verizon’s new rewards program, Verizon Up, lets mobile subscribers get rewards and coupons on their bill every time they spend $300 – if they voluntarily agree to enrolling in Verizon’s personalized advertising program called Verizon Selects. Verizon Selects, the carrier’s newest rewards program which gives up your internet privacy in the name of advertising. Users will be rewarded with “device Dollars toward your next device purchase, discounts on an accessory, or partner rewards” in exchange for letting Verizon siphon up your internet history and app usage data, among other things. Privacy invading programs such as Verizon Up are now allowed again since FCC internet privacy rules were removed by Congress earlier this year. According to Verizon, signing up for Verizon Up gives your consent to share with Verizon:

“…information about your web browsing, app usage, device location, use of Verizon services and other information about you (such as your postal/email addresses, demographics, and interests). This program shares information with OATH (formed by the combination of Yahoo and AOL).”

Privacy invading programs such as Verizon Up are now allowed again since FCC internet privacy rules were removed by Congress earlier this year.

Verizon Up internet tracking is entirely voluntary

Verizon’s recent moves have raised the brows of many privacy activists given Verizon’s colorful tracking history – remember the supercookie? On their part, Verizon defended their action by stating to Engadget that the program was, at the end of the day, completely voluntary:

“We give our customers choice and control. They have the choice to opt in and participate in the program, and if they do choose to participate, they have the choice to opt out at any time.”

Verizon’s plan here is a little different from AT&T GigaPower, which lets you pay less if you voluntarily give up your internet privacy and allow AT&T to track your activity. The thing here is that, unlike with AT&T GigaPower, it’s unlikely that tech savvy consumers can “lock in savings” by signing up to share their private internet browsing history and data and receiving a monthly discount, but then regaining that privacy with the use of a monthly paid VPN – like is still possible at AT&T. Verizon Up is more similar to Canada’s Carrot Rewards, where simple micro-incentives are used in exchange for basic privacy.

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About Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen is a digital currency and privacy advocate who believes we must #KeepOurNetFree, preferably through decentralization. Caleb holds a Master's in Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia as well as a Bachelor's from the University of Virginia. He feels that the world is moving towards a better tomorrow, bit by bit by Bitcoin.

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  1. llewellynh

    Just another reason to stay far, far away from Verizon.

    2 years ago