PC World and others are reporting that Turn, the advertising group that I wrote about a few days ago, will stop using Verizon’s unique identifier to target advertising to Verizon customers in early February.
The practice, which is completely legal, lets Turn track every web page a Verizon customer visits, even if they delete their tracking cookies. The only solution is to run all of your traffic over a VPN, which encrypts your traffic until it leaves the Verizon network.
Turn insists that users who delete their tracking cookies should not expect not to be tracked – they should instead use opt out methods endorsed by the advertisers. Of course those only work for “participating” companies and doesn’t stop them from collecting and selling your data – they only agree to stop targeting ads to you.
In the end, the power of a bright spotlight is effective in keeping at least one small piece of your privacy.