Tags: Cell | Phone | Knows | Dinner

Your Cell Phone Knows What You Had For Dinner

By    |   Monday, 16 Dec 2013 06:31 PM

Cell phone companies know where Americans are, what they are searching for, and what their likes and dislikes are, and they are selling that information for big profits.

CNN Money reports the cell phone data are being combined with other third-party information, such as customer ages and salary ranges, to create profiles that are very attractive to advertisers.

All four major carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — sell their customer data, CNN Money said.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

While customers can be removed from the cell companies’ data collection efforts on request, Peter Eckersley, technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, said that option does not go far enough.

"The default setting is for you to share information that reveals incredibly intimate details of your life: where you go to church, which nightclubs you frequent, where you fall asleep every night," Eckersley said. "The fact that you have to actively opt out of something like this is ludicrous."

CNN Money reported Verizon’s “Precision Market Insights Program” goes the farthest distance in laying bare the personal behavior of its customers.

The program can tell a marketer how many attendees at a pro basketball game have enough money to buy a season ticket and where they go for a drink after the game, whether concert-goers have children living in their households, and can connect it to a “heat-map” to show where customers are located.

Verizon emphasized that the data it collects is aggregated, is not traced back to specific individuals, and that personal identities are stripped away.

However, the truth remains that much information on individual Americans is collected by cell phone companies in the first place before it is made anonymous.

“The fact that the carriers' programs are based on the sharing of deeply personal details can be unsettling to customers,” CNN Money concluded.

NPR reported that Snapchat, a new digital application, lets users send photos and short messages that disappear from a recipient's phone after just a few seconds. “It's wildly popular, especially among teens,” NPR said.

Slate reported Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, recently asked the nation’s major cell phone companies to reveal some of the details of the requests they receive from law enforcement for customer data.

Slate described the number of requests as “staggering,” and that T-Mobile and AT&T alone received nearly 600,000 such requests from law enforcement officials for customer information in 2012.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

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Cell phone companies know where Americans are, what they are searching for, and what their likes and dislikes are, and they are selling that information for big profits.
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2013-31-16
Monday, 16 Dec 2013 06:31 PM
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