Browsing history, location & more being collected by Verizon app

In a move that could be violating people’s privacy, My Verizon app might be collecting information about people’s browsing history, location, apps, and contacts. This process is completed in the name of helping the company “understand your interests,” according to reports.

The program, which Verizon appears to automatically get customers into, is called Verizon Custom Experience and is left hidden in the privacy settings on the app.

As such, the program features two different options that appear in the application, Custom Experience and Custom Experience Plus, each of which varies in terms of invasiveness.

The telco provides additional information on both settings within the app, and on an FAQ page on its website. It seems that the Personalized Experience option is a simplified version of Personalized Experience Plus and, as Verizon indicates directly in the app, it helps Verizon “personalize” its “communication with customers and “provide them with more relevant product and service recommendations, by using “information about the websites you visit and the applications you use on your mobile device.

In the meantime, some tips are needed to cancel the personalized experience entirely, by opening My Verizon app then hitting the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. The next step is to scroll down and select “Manage privacy settings” under the “Preferences” heading, then on the next page, uncheck “Custom Experience” and “Custom Experience Plus.”

To clear the information that the app has collected about customers through the program, tap “Personalized Experience Settings” and hit “Reset.” The company says it will not sell your information to advertisers and will “use it for Verizon purposes only.”

Last April, T-Mobile started automatically enrolling users in a program that shares people’s data with advertisers unless you manually opt-out from your privacy settings, while on AT&T’s privacy center, the company says that it collects web and browsing information, in addition to the apps people use, and that they can manage these settings from AT&T’s site.