Verizon Wireless Will Allow Users to Turn Off “Supercookies”

Marketing, Design and More

Verizon Wireless Will Allow Users to Turn Off “Supercookies”

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As smartphones and other mobile devices have grown increasingly popular, internet advertising agencies have continually encouraged their clients to reach out to these users with their marketing strategies. A number of statistics have supported this advice: for example, the average tablet user spends an estimated 13.9 hours surfing the web on their device every week, and an estimated 73% of smartphone owners access their social media accounts through their applications at least once a day. With these facts, it only seems logical to work with internet marketing firms and other marketing companies that can help address this growing trend. However, mobile device users are more difficult to track and target than desktop users because these tools typically do not use cookies and other implements in the same way. Now, one of the only companies to attempt to change this feature is allowing users to opt-out of their tracking methods.

Starting in 2012, Verizon Wireless began using a unique identifier for each customer, colloquially called a supercookie. In desktops and mobile devices, cookies perform a number of functions, but are primarily used to retrieve information that was previously loaded when a user revisits a website. Because of this, advertisers are often able to track cookies to target advertisements to a specific user. Verizon’s supercookie was designed as an advertising strategy, a decision likely meant to combat the lack of tracking methods for smartphones.

However, the telecommunications company’s supercookie began drawing criticism from privacy advocates in 2014, who claimed the implement could be used by spies and hackers. After several months of controversy, Verizon finally announced that they would begin allowing their customers to turn the supercookie off. The announcement reportedly came only hours after the company received a letter from the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which criticized the technology and requested an explanation.

While allowing users to turn off the supercookies to help protect their information is an important step, it unfortunately means internet advertising agencies are back where they started, lacking a way to track and customize users and advertisements. If you’re interested in marketing your company through mobile technology, it is therefore important to find SEO marketing agencies who have an understanding of the industry and skills that allow them to use this modern practice effectively. More on this topic.

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