Remember when Verizon used the phrase “Can you hear me now?” They were, of course, referring to their expanding network, but in today’s world, it appears to be more relevant to them hearing you. Why? Verizon enrolled customers into their renamed scanning program – even those who had opted out of the program with the old name.
The Verizons Select program has been around for a while. Many people opted out of this program when they learned its primary goal was to collect browser experience and app usage. However, Verizon in its ultimate wisdom decided that a change in the plan’s name justified them ignoring their clients’ previous opt-out preferences and enrolling them into the new plan.
In other words, if you are a Verizons Select customer you will automatically be enrolled in the Verizon Custom Experience Plus program. And if you are part of the Verizon Custom Experience Plus program you will automatically be included in the Custom Experience and Business and Marketing Insights programs.
If you have recently been enrolled in the Verizon Custom Experience Plus Plan, your information is being collected from your browser and your app usage. The good news, of sorts, is that if you were enrolled in the Custom Experience Plan instead, the location of your device and your personal data are not being collected.
According to Verizon, the Custom Experience Plus uses:
- Device location information obtained from the Verizon network and from Verizon apps you have permitted collection location for these purposes;
- Information about your Verizon Fios services; and
- Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), including information about the phone numbers you call or that call you and the times you receive these calls. It also includes information about the quantity, type, destination, location, and amount of use of your Verizon telecommunications and interconnected voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services and related billing information.
This is in addition to the basic information the Custom Experience plan collects such as information about the websites you visit and the apps you use on your mobile device. They use that information to help them determine your interests, such as “sports lover” or “outdoor enthusiast.” It may make you feel a little better if you know they only use the first part of the web address. Their example states that if you visit a news website, they will know, but they would not know which article you read on that site.
Can you hear me now?
If you decide you do not want to participate in either of the two Custom Experience programs, you are able to opt-out. Simply click on the privacy setting page within the My Verizon site or the My Verizon app.
Of course, if you are not already participating in the Verizon Selects program you have the option to enroll in the Custom Experience Plus program if you think it is a good idea. Remember, if you already participate in the Verizon Selects program you will automatically be included in the renamed program.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Verizon may have wanted to know if you can hear them now. Perhaps a more important question is “Do you want Verizon to hear you now?”