Senators to press Verizon over privacy concerns

TAMPA, FLA. -- A story any cell phone user should read.

Could your telephone company be tracking you without even knowing it?

That's what's happening—and lawmakers are trying to stop it.

Dennis Kraft has been a Verizon customer for years.

"Ever since I had a cell phone," says Kraft.

But after hearing that Verizon is using a tracking technology that third parties can exploit---it doesn't make him a satisfied customer.

"I don't think it's right," says Kraft.

And neither does U.S Senator Bill Nelson.

"Our staff on the commerce committee will be investigating this," says U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

He and other U.S. Senators are demanding answers asking the company how it plans to protect consumer privacy.

"We certainly want to make sure that in this time of ubiquity of eyes prying all around in the electronic age we are living, that we preserve the right to privacy for all individuals," says U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

Back in November, AT&T came under fire for using 'super cookies' as well—but stopped using them after being confronted.

For Verizon customers,

"It's like someone taking your identity," says one customer.

They hope their phone company makes the same decision.

And the thing about these super cookies is you can't delete them like regular cookies, but there is a website to see if you're being tracked. Click here.

Supercookies are unique ID numbers used to tag and track users for advertising purposes; but unlike regular cookies which users can delete, Verizon's customers cannot delete or evade its supercookies. The use of the new mobile trackers has come under intense scrutiny recently from privacy advocates who feared third parties, such as Turn or even intelligence agencies, could exploit them to spy on consumers. That outcry has since led Turn to suspend use of Verizon supercookies. In November, AT&T announced it was discontinuing its use of similar supercookies.

A Verizon spokesperson tells us that the company will continue to evaluate super cookies and are even looking into removing it. He also says customers can opt out of having it and are looking at how 3rd parties got a hold of it.


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