11 March 2021

I Picked the Right Time to Switch to Verizon®

As I noted yesterday, my family and I changed my provider from Sprint® to Verizon®.

To be sure, the problem was not with Sprint® per se, it was because Verizon® gave us a better deal, particularly since we were already FIOS®, the land line fiber service, customers, particularly with regard to getting new phones for Sharon, Natalie, and Charlie.  (We'll be saving about $50 a month including various discounts, and replacing Sharon's* and the kid's decrepit cell phones for free.)

That being said, I have had some misgivings about the T-Mobile®'s takeover of Sprint® a few years back, and the increasing move to T-Mobile®-ize Sprint was concerning.

What I did not expect T-Mobile® to do though was to attempt to aggressively spy on its customers to collect ad dollars, but is what they did, as the folks at The Register noted, " Privacy Purists Prickle at T-Mobile Us Plan to Proffer People's Personal Web, App Pursuits to Ad Promoters." (Seriously, El Reg's headline writers should get a Pulitzer

T-Mobile is requiring users to opt out in order for them not to share data like, phone location, apps installed on the phones,  web browsing habits.

T-Mobile® is claiming that the data is "Anonymized", but each phone user will have a unique identifier, and by aggregating as few as 5 data points, the likelihood of specifically identifying a user becomes well more than 90%. (The term is "Profiling" or "Stalking")

What's more, as the folks at Ars Technica note the opt-out process is (unsurprisingly) not working reliably, "We've heard from customers who say they've had problems opting out so you may have to try multiple links or make multiple attempts," because ATAB (All Telcos Are Bastards).

It's a rather depressing turn of events for a wireless company that markedly improved consumer treatment in the US market a few years ago.

*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.


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