According to USA Today and the NY Times, Verizon has announced that it will allow users to opt out of their super-cookie program “soon”.
You may remember that both Verizon and AT&T were caught adding a unique tracking identifier into all web page requests last year as customers were using programs such as ad blocker and ghostery to attempt to retain some semblance of privacy as they surfed the web.
Verizon’s super-cookie, dubbed a Unique Identifier Header (UIDH), was added to the web page request after the request left your phone or tablet, hence all the traditional methods for deleting them were ineffective. Their advertising partner Turn was caught building user profiles of sites visited after Verizon publicly stately surely no one would do that. Turn said that the fact that people were deleting their cookies did not mean that they did not want to be tracked.
AT&T announced in November that they were ending what they called in their press release an experiment in the use of super-cookies.
Turn announced last week that they would end their use of compiling profiles that way in February – but I assume they will not end the practice of creating user profiles.
Finally, as the story would not go away, Verizon announced that they are “listening to their customers” and would allow their customers to opt-out of the UIDH real soon now. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the UIDH does not serve any legitimate purpose other than tracking you and that they are counting on users to be too lazy to opt out. I will report again when the option is actually available.