Verizon and AT&T Using "Supercookies" to Track Users

News - United States


There are more than one hundred million users who have been tracked by AT&T and Verizon with “supercookies”. It also means now Verizon and AT&T has joined Google and Facebook, the other two companies which keep track of users’ tastes and interests. According to some reports, the cookies used by these carriers are so powerful that even savvy users can’t escape them. This is the reason why they are called supercookies.



According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, both the carriers, Verizon and AT&T, are secretly keeping record of the online activities of more than hundred million mobile customers. A code dubbed a “supercookie” is inserted into the cellular web traffic of the carriers’ networks, which is actually used to keep the track of the activities of the customers. On the other side the companies say that their customers are informed about that. It is not the first time we heard about the company using cookies to track the browsing habits of the users. According to Jacob Hoffman Andrews of Electric Frontier Foundation, “For nearly twenty years now, the cookie has become the standard way to track people online, for better or worse.”

Verizon started this program 2 years back and this year it joined hands with other data management and advertising companies. Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jacob Hoffman-Andrews was the first to bring attention to the Verizon program. On the other hand the program used by AT&T is not that much advance and is still in testing phase. Federal law requires all the phone companies to keep the customer data confidential, says Electronic Frontier Foundation. Just two months back in September, Verizon paid FCC $7.4 million because of its failure to let its 2 million customers know of their privacy rights.

References

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