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Verizon Wireless Collecting Location and Usage Data – Business Users Take Note

The U.S.’s largest mobile carrier is alerting customers to a privacy policy change implemented last month, which enrolled all customers into a data collection program. In short, Verizon is collecting usage and location data, with plans to sell it.

The U.S.’s largest mobile carrier is alerting customers to a privacy policy change implemented last month, which enrolled all customers into a data collection program. In short, Verizon is collecting usage and location data, with plans to sell it.

Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy PolicyWhile the story is mostly centered on consumer privacy, plenty of businesses have service contracts with Verizon Wireless, and plenty more have employees using their personal Verizon devices for office related activities. If this is the case, then organizations should know that every employee, unless they personally opted-out of the program, is being tracked by Verizon.

Verizon’s new privacy policy includes the collection of browsing data, location, device, application usage, subscription plan (data and calling features, amount of usage), and demographic information handed to them by third-parties. The concerning part is that URL strings are collected, including search terms and other data.

The changes started in September, and customers have to access their account online to exit the program. For organizations with a large amount of devices to manage, each number must be removed individually. Contact your Verizon service representative for additional details.

For organizations that have employees on Verizon, they should head to the privacy center to opt-out of the program on their own. The address is http://www.vzw.com/myprivacy

This may be nothing, but it is still something to monitor as mobile device usage is growing in the enterprise, and there is no telling what information is being recorded. In this case, it is better safe than sorry, as an organization has no control over how the collected data is stored or secured, but may be faced with problems should it ever be exposed to the public.

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