Don’t want your carrier to track your personal data? you can tell him to stop

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Your telephone operator is collecting your personal data. However, there are ways to protect yourself.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Similar to tech giants like Facebook Y Google, major phone carriers track your personal data and some use it to sell targeted ads. It’s the kind of practice most of us jump to accept because, well, who has time to read the privacy policy of every service you subscribe to?

Turns out CNET does. Here’s what we found in all the fine print and what you can do about it.

Telephone operators such as AT&T, T Mobile Y Verizon Track various information, including your location, web activity, application usage, and in some cases, your credit. AT&T even collects user data biometric information as fingerprints, according to its privacy policy, though only “until the initial purpose of collecting them is fulfilled or within three years of the individual’s last interaction with AT&T, whichever comes first.”

Carriers use this information to improve the customer experience, in accordance with their privacy policies, and some sell this information to third parties. Much of what is being sold is information that you probably wouldn’t want your carrier to sell. But you can prevent your private data from being tracked and sold to third parties, and some carriers even offer ways to delete data they’ve already collected about you. However, not all data can be deleted, as each operator claims that they keep some of it for billing purposes and legal obligations.

Controlling what data about you is being tracked or stored by a provider could protect you and your loved ones from a data breach, which could compromise your bank account or ruin your credit. And with the proliferation of high profile data breachesincluding one in T Mobile, the risk is real. So here’s how to have more control over your personal data, no matter which mobile carrier you use.

Important note: Even if you choose not to have your data sold, you will still receive ads. They just won’t be tailored to you or your interests, and some services may not work as well.

AT&T

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AT&T collects biometric data from its customers, as well as other personal data.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Here’s how AT&T customers can prevent the carrier from tracking their data:

one. Sign in to your AT&T account from a browser.

two. Anger this control panel.

3. At the bottom, there is a section called Control how we use your data. Click on each option and change On either Off for the phone numbers on your account. Each phone number can opt in or out and it will not affect the other phone numbers on your account.

Customers who live in California and Nevada can tell AT&T to stop selling their data:

one. fill this Do not sell my personal information form in a browser.

two. Click Do not sell my data either Do not sell my data except to AT&T companies at the end of the page.

AT&T says that it shares “information in ways that may be considered a ‘sale’ of personal information” in California and Nevada, so it only offers this option in those two states.

AT&T customers in California can also request deletion of most of your data. However, this does not appear to be available to other AT&T customers.

T Mobile

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T-Mobile customers can use the T-Mobile app or a web browser to tell the carrier to stop selling their data.

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For T-Mobile customers, you can tell the carrier to stop tracking your data in two ways. One is through the T-Mobile mobile app and the other is through your My T-Mobile bill:

one. Open the T-Mobile app and sign in or sign in to your My T-Mobile account from a browser.

two. Click My account.

3. Click Profile.

Four. Click Privacy and Notifications.

5. Click Advertising and Analytics.

6. Select your name (or the name of another user on your account) from the list.

7. Click the slider next to Use my data to make ads more relevant to me to turn it off. You can also click the slider next to Use my data for analysis and reporting to prevent T-Mobile from using your data in marketing reports.

8. If you have multiple T-Mobile users on your account, click Behind and repeat the steps 6 Y 7.

T-Mobile also allows its customers to restrict the sale of their data to third parties through the Do Not Sell Settings. This is how from a web browser:

one. Sign in to your T-Mobile account.

two. Opened this page and scroll down to the section Learn more about the “Do not sell” setting.

3. Click Begin.

Four. Click on the service you have; options are T-Mobile, Sprint, Metro by Sprint, and Assurance Wireless.

5. Under Do not sell my personal information, click the button on the right side of the screen to activate the Do Not Sell feature. Click the button for all the items you want to protect.

T-Mobile customers can also fill out a form to request deletion of most of your personal data.

Verizon

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Verizon has two advertising programs, but you can opt out of both.

Opting out of having Verizon track customer data is a bit confusing. Verizon has two advertising programs: Personalized Experience and Personalized Experience Plus. The main difference is that Custom Experience Plus tracks a broader range of data, and you must opt ​​into the Custom Experience Plus program. Verizon customers are automatically enrolled in the Personalized Experience program, but can opt out. Although Verizon does not sell customer data to third-party advertisers, what could “de-identify or aggregate information so Verizon or others may use it for business and marketing purposes.”

Here’s how to tell Verizon to stop tracking your data in the Verizon Mobile app:

one. Open the Verizon Mobile app and sign in to your account.

two. Click on the Gear icon to open settings.

3. Under preferencesclick Manage privacy settings.

Four. Choose the phone line whose privacy you want to manage.

5. Click personalized experience to toggle Off for each phone number on your account.

6. Click Personalized Experience Plus to toggle Off for each phone number on your account.

7. Click the back arrow at the top of the screen. Your settings should be saved automatically.

Here’s how to tell Verizon to stop tracking your data from a web browser:

one. Anger verizon.com from any browser and log in to your account.

two. Click Bill.

3. Select account settings.

Four. Click privacy settings.

5. Click personalized experience and put to do not use for each phone number on your account.

6. Click Personalized Experience Plus and put to do not use for each phone number on your account.

7. Click Save Changes.

However, deleting most of your data through Verizon is a bit more convenient. Here’s how to do it from mobile:

one. Open the Verizon Mobile app and sign in to your account.

two. Click on the Gear icon to open settings.

3. Under preferencesclick Manage privacy settings.

Four. Click Custom experience settings

5. Click Restart.

And here’s how to remove most of the data Verizon has collected about you from a web browser:

one. Anger verizon.com from any browser and log in to your account.

two. Click Bill.

3. Select account settings.

Four. Click privacy settings.

5. Click Manage settings under Custom experience settings.

6. Click Restart.

7. Go back and click Manage settings under Personalized experiences Plus.

8. Click Restart.

You can learn more about iPhone Privacy Features Not Many People Know About, Google Chrome and Safari settings to change if you’re concerned about privacy Y New privacy features in Android 12 Go edition.

Correction, April 19: This has been corrected to state that Verizon does not sell customer data to third-party advertisers.

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