In the year 2008, Verizon declared that they did not require additional privacy security measures (or opt-in requirements, or net neutrality regulations) since consumers would ensure that the company was honest. “The massive supervision provided by many thousands of knowledgeable internet users will assist in the enforcement of best practises and safeguard consumers,” Verizon said at the time.
Six years later, Verizon discovered itself in the middle of a huge privacy scandal after it started secretly putting unique user-tracking headers inside wireless transmissions. The technology enabled Verizon to track users across the internet, and the company did not warn users about the possibility, nor did it provide users with any alternative to opting out. It took security experts two years to know the extent of what Verizon did. The FCC eventually settled with Verizon for $1.35 million (a small portion of the money Verizon realised from the program). However, it continues to use the same method (albeit with an opt-out feature that works) in the present.
A few years later , it’s unclear if Verizon has learned anything new. The company has been growing its use of information and its monetization ever since, but this time with the newly developed “Verizon custom experience,” which the company claims can help “personalize our interactions with you, offer you more relevant service and product suggestions, and create plans of services and offers that appeal to your needs.” This is actually a sign that Verizon is increasing the collection of information on your visits to websites as well as the people you connect with and the apps you use.