AirTalk for July 22, 2014

Verizon offers reward points in return for location tracking

Verizon Posts Quarterly Loss Of Just Over 2 Billion

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A sign is posted in front of a Verizon Wireless store on January 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

Cellphone carrier Verizon Wireless is launching a first of its kind loyalty program to its 100-million-plus subscribers nationwide. To earn points to use on hotels, car rentals, and Verizon products, customers have to consent to be tracked by cellphone towers. The phone company will use the data to target ads, but says customers will not be personally identifiable in the data. As The Wall Street Journal reports:

Ultimately Verizon plans to license the data it collects to help advertising technology companies serve more relevant ads and offers to its subscribers. The first companies to have access to the datasets will most likely be Verizon Precision Market Insights’ existing ad tech partners, which include Oracle, Bluekai, Run, Turn, and Brightroll.


The location data will help advertisers decide what to market as you surf the web on your mobile device, whether you are in Los Angeles or Oklahoma, etc.

Would you opt-in to this program at the expense of your privacy? Websites track your computer use to better target ads you see online, but is location tracking a different animal?

Guest:

Jack Marshall, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal


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