The changes Verizon has made to its Selects program also changed at least some subscribers' privacy settings. Verizon (Engadget's former parent company) collected users' location, web browsing and mobile application usage data to send them marketing messages or offers under Selects, though subscribers could opt out if they wanted to. As Ars Technica notes, the carrier recently replaced its Selects program with the Verizon Custom Experience Plus and Custom Experience programs. And that's all well and good, except users have been receiving emails to tell them that they'd been automatically enrolled.
In the email, Verizon stated that they will be included in the programs, which means their data will be collected, even if they previously opted out of participating in Selects. Custom Experience only collects browsing and app usage history, while the Plus version also collects location information and data about the numbers that users call and call them.
In its FAQ page, Verizon said it doesn't sell user information, but it shares them with the service providers that work with them. "These service providers are required to use the information only for the purposes Verizon defines and not for their own or others' marketing or advertising purposes," the company wrote. The carrier also wrote that it keeps browsing information for no more than 6 months. It keeps location and phone number information for approximately one year.
To remove themselves from the program, users will have to opt out again. While we're sure a lot of subscribers wouldn't appreciate being enrolled into marketing programs they previously chose not to participate in, it's at least easy to unsubscribe. They can go to their Verizon account's privacy preferences page or "My Verizon" in their mobile app and head to "Manage Settings" or "Manage Privacy Settings" to toggle off both programs.