You search for a website on your phone and assume that your internet provider is the only one who knows where you visit. Turns out if you have Verizon, you were wrong. Recently it has been discovered that for at least the past two years the communications provider has been selling the data it collects from its mobile internet users and sells the information to marketing companies. Verizon refers to the process as a Unique Identifier Header (UIDH) which inserts unique numbers and letters into users’ web requests. Paying advertisers can then use these distinctive web addresses to identify which you tend to visit and can closely tailor their ads to your searches. The UIDH system alters the addresses through Verizon’s network so deleting saved cookies will have no effect on the advertisers’ ability to view your tendencies and history. Even more troubling to many people hearing about the tactics is that the company’s opt-out function does not stop the process. Verizon and its advertising clients won’t use your searches for personalized ads; however, it will continue to collect all of the information that it did before you opted-out. Bit of a head scratcher, yes? Providers including AT&T and Sprint are now also being questioned if they employ tactics similar to Verizon. Be careful for what websites you visit on your phone; Big Brother is not only watching but keeping track of where you go…

UPDATE: AT&T confirms to use of similar program: http://wp.me/p2NUsr-5X

Verizon UIDH

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