How private is your private life when it comes to Verizon Wireless? If you have not specifically “opted out” of giving away your information, what you do with your phone is for sale. What kind of information is Verizon Wireless selling? According to Ars Technica, the “data on the calls you make and receive and the services that you may make use of” and “the features of your phone and its capabilities.” (Read the full article here.)
Verizon Wireless has been contacting its customers via mail to inform them of their intent to share CPNI data with “our affiliates, agents and parent companies (including Vodafone) and their subsidiaries.” The company says that customers who do not want their CPNI data shared need to call 1-800-333-9956 to “opt-out.” Upon dialing the opt-out number, Verizon customers will be prompted for their phone number, billing ZIP code, and last four digits of their Social Security Numbers (in the case of businesses, their Employer ID numbers).
Failure to opt out will be interpreted by Verizon Wireless as “consent” the company’s data-sharing practices.
This type of opted-in sharing of personal information isn’t limited to Verizon Wireless. If you read over your agreement with your credit card company, you’ll probably find a similar situation. Your privacy is yours only is you claim it in the modern age.
If you have another mobile carrier, don’t assume you are protected against this type of activity. No matter which company handles your mobile service, it’s probably worth a call to them to protect your personal information.