Do you like your privacy? Cell phone providers sell your activities for targeted advertising

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Do you like your privacy?

Well, you’re about to have a little less of it because of a change that went into effect this week by one of the largest cell phone carriers in the country.

T-Mobile is now sharing everything you do on any device connected to their network under a change in their privacy policy.

Here’s what happened:

Very quietly back on Feb. 23, T-Mobile changed its privacy policy.

It said starting April 26, it would start using data about you including web and device usage for targeted advertising unless you tell it not to.

About a month later in mid-March, the company sent out texts to customers alluding to the change saying they’re updating our privacy notice with changes to your data choices or advertising.

On April 29, several days after the policy became effective, another text went out saying: “We’ll begin using your data to personalize ads you see” and offering an opt out link.

Not every cell phone user will say “no” to that opt out.

A Raleigh resident who identified himself only as Greg said, “If cell phone companies need that extra revenue to keep my bill down, I’m ok with that.”

T-Mobile isn’t the only company collecting data.

Facebook, Google, and Amazon, to name just three big players, all collect tons of information about your activities.

Back In January, Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia warned about how free apps like Facebook Messenger collect your data for targeted ads.

However, with T-Mobile and other cell phone carriers you have the chance to say “No, don’t do that to me” but you must opt out first.

Oping out is different for all major carriers.

Here’s how you can do it:

T-Mobile or Sprint

  • Go to their website
  • Choose Update your Settings
  • Select Service T-Mobile, or Metro or Sprint

AT&T

  • Go to its Privacy Rights Website
  • Select the Privacy Choices button
  • Scroll down and choose “Do not sell my personal information”

Verizon

Log on to this website

Once there you must:

  • Register for My Verizon.
  • Sign in and click the ‘Account’ tab.
  • Select “Account Profile.”
  • Scroll to the “Alerts and Preferences” section.
  • Click on “Manage Privacy settings” in the “Privacy Setting” section.

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