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Verizon Is Selling Your Information

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Verizon Is Selling Your Information

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FILE - In this July 28, 2008 file photo, a cell phone user passes a Verizon store in New York. Verizon Wireless and Google Inc. said Tuesday, Oct. 6. 2009, they are teaming up to speed development of new mobile devices based on Google's Android software that will run on Verizon's cell phone network.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

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Last month, Verizon Wireless changed its privacy policy and now information on everything you have browsed or downloaded onto your smartphone will be gathered and sold to third parties.

While all wireless carriers sell some kind of information on its users, Verizon is the first to publicly acknowledge that it's selling customer information directly to businesses, according to CNN. About two weeks ago, Verizon changed its privacy policy to allow the company to record customer location data and Internet usage, combine it with personal information such as age and gender, aggregate it with other customer data and then sell it on an anonymous basis. (And you were just worried about Apple and Google stalking you.)

Other carriers, such as Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T compile similar information to help sell ads to subscribers. As CNN notes, this is nothing new:

Selling customer information is an age-old practice that is certainly not exclusive to the wireless industry. Brian Kennish, a former DoubleClick engineer who developed the advertising network's mobile ad server, noted that wireless companies have been sharing users' location data with third parties for more than a decade.

The most interesting thing that we found was that Verizon gives third parties an incredible amount of detail on each customer, which is needed for marketing report demographics, and includes home addresses. While there's no name attached to the address, it's would become obvious with a quick public records search. And with that, you now know where all that junk mail comes from.

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