In a move that would provide protection to its users, AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) announced on Friday, 14th November, 2014, that it would no longer be tracking data associated with its users’ mobile devices.
Previously, there was a controversial program in place which employed ‘supercookies’ to keep track of all the websites on the Internet accessed by users via their smartphones without being detected. This was being made possible through a tracking code, which was a combination of alphabets and numbers, and what made it capable of being transmitted to multiple websites was its undeletable quality. Thus, based on the names and types of sites visited and the data collected, AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) as also its advertisers could build a personal profile of the user that is unique to the point of being regarded as a social security number or a digital footprint.
Verizon is another provider which makes use of this system while there is no concrete information as to whether to other providers namely T-Mobile and Sprint also rely on it. But all of this is now about to change as AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) has decided to provide its users with the option of staying beyond the realms of tracking. All that the user will be required to do is to access the appropriate branch of the company and click on the blue colored ‘opt-out’ button. As long as it is via the company’s wireless network and not Wi-Fi, the user will receive a message that will confirm whether his opt-out has been successful or not.
The logic underlying the decision was explained by the company spokesperson Emily Edmonds as follows –
“If and when we start a mobile Relevant Advertising program, customers will be able to opt out of receiving mobile Relevant Advertising, and also be able to choose not to have the associated numeric code inserted on their device.”
Meant to enhance customer trust, this move goes on to reflect how particular AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) is when it comes to safeguarding its users’ privacy.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.