Methods for Preventing Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile from Selling Your Phone Data

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Photo: Monster Ztudio (Shutterstock) – However, if you don’t want to be tracked by any of the big carriers, you may turn it off. Companies aren’t limited to using social media, computer browsers, and smartphone applications to monitor your activity. The data you supply to your phone service provider is collected as well. For example, AT&T, T-Mobile (which owns Sprint and MetroPCS), and Verizon all utilize location and browser data to sell advertising.

Worse still, carrier tracking is enabled by default for all users and occurs even if you have iOS’s “App Tracking Transparency” or Android’s “Opt-out of Ads Personalization” options enabled. In most cases, these settings prevent applications from gathering some data, but your carrier monitors you via network activity rather than through an app, bypassing any settings on your device that prohibit tracking.

Aside from the fact that each phone provider provides an opportunity for consumers to opt out, most people are probably unaware that they have the choice or even the default behavior of collecting their personal information.

When Verizon sends a dull text message from an unknown number, it seems like a low-rent phishing scam or malware assault, featuring the sort of bland link that we’re always advising people not to click on, as Inc points out.

If you clicked on the link, however, you were sent to a (now dead) landing page that informed you of the new tracking policy and allowed you to opt out. For more information on Verizon’s entire privacy policy, please visit Verizon’s website at Don’t forget to turn off the “Custom Experience” option for each phone number provided.

The other big mobile service providers have sent out identical texts and emails like Verizon’s—the type that most people would likely discard or reject as junk. If you know where to look, it’s possible to avoid being tracked while using the internet.

To find out what T-Mobile does with your information, you have to go to the company’s website and search for it. The good news is that T-data Mobile’s tracking may be easily disabled in your user settings. The T-Mobile Privacy Center website also allows you to make “Do Not Sell” requests to T-Mobile, ask the firm to remove the information it holds on you, and opt out of various marketing and advertising rules.

If you want to know why AT&T collects your data, you may read the company’s privacy policy (spoiler: to sell advertising). Your online account settings provide you the choice, but AT&T conceals a direct link to the pertinent options in the privacy section of the website.

Note that opting out of your provider’s data monitoring only affects how the firm monitors you; it doesn’t alter what data the applications on your phone may view. Turn on App Tracking Transparency on iOS and switch off Ads Personalization on Android, install a good VPN, turn off location data, and use a browser app with rigorous privacy restrictions to minimize mobile data tracking to an absolute minimum.