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March 8, 2016

Verizon, FCC Reach Settlement in UIDH Case

Company Must Now Seek User Compliance, Pay $1.3 Million Fine

Verizon image
Verizon image

Verizon and the Federal Communication Commission have reached a settlement surrounding the use of ‘supercookies’.

block cookiesThe wireless provider had been the subject of an FCC investigation into the use of unique, undeletable identifiers (UIDH) when it comes to their customers. The UIDHs were used to deliver targeted ads from
Verizon and other third parties.

But they won’t be used in such a manner by Verizon anymore unless the customer provides consent.

Verizon Wireless must now notify consumers about its targeted advertising programs, will obtain customers’ opt-in consent before sharing UIDH with third parties, and will obtain customers’ opt-in or opt-out consent before sharing UIDH internally within the Verizon corporate family.

In a press release issued by the FCC, enforcement bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said the commission takes such actions very seriously.

“Privacy and innovation are not incompatible. This agreement shows that companies can offer meaningful transparency and consumer choice while at the same time continuing to innovate. We would like to acknowledge Verizon Wireless’s cooperation during the course of this investigation and its willingness to make changes to its practices for the benefit of its customers,” LeBlanc stated.

The FCC began its investigation into Verizon’s practice in December 2014 and found the company had been carrying out the activity since 2012, but it wasn’t until two years later the company actually shared the fact it used UIDHs.

Under the terms of the settlement, Verizon must also pay a fine of $1,350,000 and adopt a three-year compliance plan.


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W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.

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