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ECT News Community   »   CRM Buyer Talkback   »   Re: Verizon Addresses Supercookie Conundrum



Re: Verizon Addresses Supercookie Conundrum
Posted by: Erika Morphy 2015-02-05 00:33:54
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Users of Verizon Wireless' network and products will find it will be easier to opt out of the carrier's tracking activities. Verizon Wireless, similar to other carriers such as AT&T, has been using a "supercookie" identifier to follow smartphone users' mobile Web activity. This data is then packaged and sold to marketers. Verizon has given consumers ways to opt out of various marketing programs, but escaping the reach of supercookies has proven to be elusive for consumers -- they cannot be turned off in standard privacy settings.


Re: Verizon Addresses Supercookie Conundrum
Posted by: AureliePols 2015-02-05 01:14:09 In reply to: Erika Morphy
The idea that Turn might be injecting some kind of spyware while resurrecting the cookie is imho slightly exaggerating the situation. It's not uncommon to start calling these affairs Supercookies and flash the danger of spyware but this was not the case here:
Turn, the 3rd party responsible for resurrecting deleted cookies suspended it's practice, for now: http://www.turn.com/blog/zombie-cookie-id-to-be-suspended-pending-re-evaluation.
Good for them.

It's more the problem of Verizon who allowed this to happen in the first place, despite several warnings as initially this was called many, many months ago.
Lately, Kashmir Hill, formerly with Forbes also picked it up and explains the reaction of the Chief Privacy Officer here: http://fusion.net/story/40796/verizon-supercookie-letter/. This was after Jonathan Mayer actually went down into the code and looked at all the was happening with the header Verizon injected: http://webpolicy.org/2015/01/14/turn-verizon-zombie-cookie/

While I like the idea of Privacy as a brand value and a positive differentiator, the fact that Verizon might now hint at respecting their users' wishes by allowing for an opt-out that actually works and that they are legally bound to provide is an insult to common sense and ethics!

As for Telcos listening to people's wishes and rights to Privacy, it seems to me we all have very short memories regarding Telcos and trackers!
BT got fined for using Phorm many years ago. It was a very long process, where a lot of people had to step up before anything moved. The way BT responded is very similar to Verizon by the way. The BT and Phorm issue also had an impact on how the UK translated into national legislation the EU Privacy Directive as it had to be revisited. We're talking years of discussions here.
At the end of 2013, Brazilian Telco Oi got fined also for using Phorm, exact same story, exact same plot line and echoes of what we're hearing from Verizon today.
And other telcos are resurrecting cookies, believe me, but no one is paying attention or doing their homework.

Telcos are under extreme pressure to deliver value to their shareholders while being plagued by hierarchical reporting structures where not being responsible is part of company culture. Does anyone truly believe they can ever be the good guys?
Let's keep it real
Jump to:
If my employer requires me to return to the company's office full-time to perform my job, I will...
Agree, because I like my job regardless of where I perform my duties.
Comply, because I can't afford to lose my current job.
Go with the flow, but start looking for different employment.
Resign immediately, so I can dedicate all of my time to find a job that better suits my needs.
Try to negotiate a hybrid work from home / work in office arrangement with my employer.