Verizon Wireless has just been slapped with a $1.35 million by the Federal Communications Commission (better known as the FCC) earlier today over a “hidden tracking” issue, where this settlement concerns the implementation and use of “supercookies” in the area of targeted advertising without obtaining permission from their customers in the first place.
Of course, $1.35 million is like a slap on the wrist of a company the size of Verizon Wireless, but that is just part of the settlement. Other than that, the folks over at Verizon Wireless will need to notify consumers of its data collection program, in addition to obtaining prior permission from users before they go ahead and share consumer data with third-party partners.
Throughout the year plus long investigation (which lasted for 15 months in reality), the FCC mentioned that it discovered customers who made attempts to delete regular cookies from their mobile browsers, but were unable to do so.
In doing so, Verizon Wireless has violated a trio of transparency-related rules within a time frame that begins from 2012 to late 2014 through the use of supercookies, which happens to be each customer’s unique hidden code, in order to keep track of one’s browsing history, which in turn is used to target specific ads to users.