Verizon Wireless has come under fire after it recently notified its customers that they have 30 days to opt out from having the company share its consumer information with “affiliates, agents and parent companies.”
Bloggers and some consumers have accused Verizon of gathering information to better target ads. However, privacy laws dictate that phone companies cannot sell personal information to third parties. It is not illegal for Verizon to share consumer information among its own branches.
“If somebody doesn’t opt out, that allows Verizon Wireless to share their information with our affiliated companies and potentially international business users with Vodafone [a 45% owner of Verizon Wireless], ” explained Jeffrey Nelson, executive director for corporate communications at Verizon. “We’re among the last wireless companies to do this.”
Nelson said sharing the information would help company tailor bundled offers to consumers. He said the practice will inform internal marketing.
Information shared will not include names, addresses and phone numbers.